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Vietnam striving to combat IUU fishing: Spanish official

Vice Chairman of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Rubén Saornil Mínguez recently appreciated efforts by the Vietnamese Government, businesses and fishermen in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing following the European Commission (EC)’s recommendations.

He made the assessment when attending a conference themed “Promoting Tuna Value Chain, Combating IUU Fishing and Exporting Tuna to EU in line with the EVFTA Commitments” in the central province of Khanh Hoa on October 10, the Nong nghiep (Newspaper of Agriculture) reported.

To implement EC recommendations, Vietnam issued the Fisheries Law 2017 and guiding documents towards sustainable aquaculture and fishery development. And to boost strict enforcement, the country set up a national steering committee for IUU fishing prevention and has required all fishing vessels to install position monitoring devices.

The moves show that the country has made a remarkable improvement compared to what it did in the previous inspection, he reportedly affirmed.

As of August 31, 24,851 out of the 30,851 fishing vessels, each with the length of 15m and above, or 80.61 percent of the total fleet had been equipped with the vessel monitoring systems.

Rubén also reportedly spoke highly of Vietnam’s moves to intensify the traceability of aquatic products in the supply chain, well control fishing vessels in and out of fishing ports, as well as the output of seafood handled at the ports, and build ships in accordance with Vietnamese and EU standards.

In addition, the country has also made a master plan for the exploitation and protection of aquatic resources so as to streamline the fishing vessel fleet in accordance with reserves as well as sustainable and responsible fisheries development.

The official acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts to contribute ideas for regional and international fisheries organisations, especially those involved in the sustainable fisheries development, for example the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA), the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), and the ASEAN IUU Network.

He stated that Vietnam currently ranks third in the world in terms of seafood exports, while the EU is a large seafood consuming market with around 22kg per person per year. Therefore, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is a good chance for Vietnam’s aquatic products.

The official stressed the need for Vietnam to trace the origin of aquatic products and avoid IUU fishing./