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National Steering Committee on IUU Fishing Prevention set up

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the establishment of the National Steering Committee on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Prevention and Control.

Under the decision, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung was named director of the committee, while Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong is one of several deputy directors.

Members of the committee include central officials, provincial leaders and others.

The committee is expected to help the Government leader deal with important and inter-sectoral issues related to IUU fishing.

It is also responsible for urging ministries, sectors and localities to step up IUU fishing prevention to meet international practices and agreements which Vietnam has signed.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is the standing office of the committee which has the responsibility for ensuring the committee’s operation and supervising the implementation of IUU fishing prevention of other ministries, sectors and localities, and submitting reports on the results to the committee’s director and the PM.

On October 23, 2017, the EC issued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing.

Countries that fail to meet EC standards are given a "yellow card", followed by a "green card" if the problems are resolved, or a "red card" if they are not. A red card can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

According to EC requirements, the Vietnamese seafood sector had to implement nine recommendations, included revisions of the legal framework to ensure compliance with international and regional rules, applicable to the conservation and management of fisheries resources; ensuring the enforcement of the country’s revised laws; and strengthening implementation of international rules and management measures.

The EC also wanted Vietnam to issue sanctions against IUU fishing, which should be written in the revised Law on Fisheries, and give concrete evidence proving Vietnam’s efforts in the fight against IUU fishing.