Making news

Coastal localities see better results in fighting IUU

Vietnam’s 28 coastal localities have scored achievements in fighting illegal, unreported and undocumented (IUU) fishing towards having the “yellow card” warning of the European Commission (EC) lifted.

Deputy Director of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pham Thi Na said the provincial authorities had directed relevant forces to intensify inspections of fishing ships, especially before their departure and after their landing at ports. The province also set up a coordination mechanism with the Vietnam Coast Guards and the High Command of Military Zone II to detect  and handle vessels that commit IUU fishing.

The department also set up representative offices at fishing ports, with staff from the Border Guards and Fisheries Sub-Department , to check all outgoing and incoming vessels.

Deputy Director of the Phu Yen provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Tri Phuong said the province has prevented violations of foreign waters by closely monitoring vessels through Vessel Monitoring Systems and by having all captains signed commitments to not violating foreign waters.

Statistics showed that Vietnam is now home to nearly 92,000 fishing vessels. As of late September, over 95% of them were equipped with monitoring devices, up nearly 5% from the previous month.

Seafood caught outside Vietnam’s waters are ensured to follow Vietnam’s law and the Agreement on Port State Measures, thus facilitating the management and licensing of aquatic products for export to the European Union.

Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and head of the IUU VASEP Executive Board Nguyen Thi Thu Sac suggested that the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) give priority to technology solutions to modern fishing management and improve the process of granting relevant papers such as fishing database and e-diary.

She proposed the Government, MARD, cities and provinces prioritise investment in the marine-based economy, including increasing the number of qualified fishing ports and making further investment in infrastructure, equipment, workforce and management personnel training for IUU combat.

Leaders of ministries, agencies and 28 centrally-run coastal cities and provinces must raise their sense of responsibility for the issue, considering it an urgent and priority task.

An EC delegation will visit Vietnam at the end of October to inspect the fight of IUU fishing.

Each year, Vietnam earned 1-1.4 billion USD from exporting aquatic products to the EU, or 15-17% of the total export value of those products./.