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Ninh Thuan popularises Fisheries Law among fishermen to fight IUU fishing

The south central province of Ninh Thuan is pushing ahead with the popularization of the 2017 Law on Fisheries, to raise fishermen’s awareness about 14 illegal fishing acts and the need of obeying law when joining offshore fishing.

This move is part of the province’s efforts to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) activities so as to join hands with the nation to have the European Commission (EC) remove its yellow card warning against Vietnam.

Ninh Thuan has a fleet of 567 fishing vessels involved in offshore fishing and 43 services boats.

Dang Van Tin, head of the provincial Fisheries Department, said that the province is continuing to implement the EC’s four groups of recommendations, including completing the legal framework, installing monitoring devices on fishing vessels, intensifying law enforcement, and tracing origins of aquatic products.

Attention is being paid to strengthening inspection and supervision over operations of fishing vessels and their crew, as well as food safety and fishing tools; controlling the output and supervising fishing logging at the fisheries control offices in Dong Hai port in Phan Rang – Thap Cham city and Ca Na port in Thuan Nam district. All violations are punished strictly.

In addition, the province is accelerating the installation of Movimar device - a system to monitor fishing vessels and aquatic resources by satellite technology – with the goal of equipping all 15m-long or more vessels in April. At present, 316 local fishing vessels have been equipped with this device. Vessel owners are required to activate the device around the clock.

After more than two years of implementing the Prime Minister’s Directive on IUU Fishing Prevention, Ninh Thuan has held 70 courses disseminating law for nearly 3,000 vessel owners, captains and fishermen, and persuaded nearly 2,300 ship owners to sign commitments to not engage in illegal fishing in international waters.

To date, no local fishing vessels have been arrested for violating international waters. However, there are still law violations such as using destructive fishing tools, lacking safety equipment for fishing vessels, and having no documents on catching history.

In the time ahead, besides stepping up the fight against IUU fishing, Ninh Thuan will continue to restructure the fisheries sector to ensure the harmonious development of fishing, limiting its effects on aquatic resources and the ecological environment.

In October 2017, Vietnam received a “yellow card” warning for illegal seafood exploitation by the EC, which has seriously hit exports to the European market./.