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More efforts needed to remove EC fisheries warning

More efforts needed to remove EC fisheries warning


Although the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the fisheries sector have strived to adjust their management over the fishing activities by fishermen in a bid to remove the "yellow card" warning imposed by the European Commission (EC) over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, more efforts are still needed, according to insiders.

Nguyen Quang Hung, deputy director general of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries (VDF) under MARD, said an EC delegation will visit Vietnam again this October to review the country’s measures against IUU fishing. The inspection will focus on four matters, namely regulatory framework, management of fishing boats, traceability of seafood products from point-of-catch to point-of-sale, and penalties for violations, he said, adding that the checks will be conducted directly at fishing ports.

Earlier, the EC conducted two inspections on the issue in May 2018 and November 2019. 

Hung pointed out some of the limitations that need addressing, including a lack of funding to renovate downgrading fishing ports as well as providing them with the necessary equipment and supervisory personnel. Many fishermen also failed to install GPS trackers or turn the devices on during offshore operations.

The VDF will convene a meeting with the National Steering Committee on IUU Fishing Prevention and Control to settle these issues, he added.

Nguyen Van Phong, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of the south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan, said the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has been assigned to coordinate with other agencies and  authorities to install GPS trackers on boats by the third quarter of this year.

Similar action is taking place in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh to prevent IUU fishing.

In addition to the installation of equipment, fishermen are also being instructed on how to keep records of their fishing trips through catch log-books, said Tran Van Dung, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, adding that it hasn't recorded any of its fishing vessels violating foreign waters since the beginning of this year.

Tra Vinh has stepped up inspection and examination of the exploitation and protection of fishery resources. Since the year’s beginning, authorities have examined 179 vessels and fined 16 cases with nearly 190 million VND (8,100 USD) for administrative violations./.