Making news

South-central coastal provinces work hard to combat illegal fishing

South-central coastal provinces work hard to combat illegal fishing The south-central coastal provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan have taken a wide range of measures to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in a bid to have the European Commission (EC)'s “yellow card” warning against Vietnam's seafood exports removed.

According to the Binh Thuan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the locality's total catch in the first quarter of 2023 reached 47,600 tonnes, equivalent to 22.7% of the year plan and up 7% from the same period last year.

Since early this year, local competent agencies have coordinated with authorities in coastal localities in educating local residents on legal regulations regarding IUU fishing prevention and control; managing fishing boasts in ports and at sea through vessel monitoring systems (VMS).

The department said as of March 9, as many as 1,930 fishing boats in Binh Thuan were equipped with VMS, or 99.4% of the total.

The provincial authorities have focused on planning the fishing industry, increasing the fleet of offshore fishing vessels, and gradually reducing inshore fishing in order to protect aquatic resources associated with preventing illegal fishing in foreign waters, contributing to promoting the sector's sustainable development.

In Ninh Thuan, the inspection and supervision of fishing vessels, law enforcement, and traceability of seafood have also been strictly performed, contributing to preventing illegal fishing in foreign waters by local fishing vessels.

The provincial authorities have so far organised 110 training courses for over 6,000 local officials and fishermen to provide them with legal knowledge, helping them understand more about issues related to IUU fishing.

Many fishing boat owners signed commitments not to violate foreign waters during their long-range fishing trips.

According to the provincial Sub-Department of Fisheries, 100% of offshore fishing vessels have been granted fishing licenses, while the rate of fishing boats granted food safety certificates, and equipped with VMS reached 99.5% and 99.7%, respectively. All local fishing vessels were registered and relevant data was synchronized with the Vietnam Fisheries database system (VNFishbase).

In 2023, Ninh Thuan set to catch over 124,000 tonnes of seafood, with offshore fishing output accounting for about 70% of the total./.