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Vietnam Today

Overseas illegal fishing by Vietnamese down significantly

Released at: 18:07, 03/03/2018

Overseas illegal fishing by Vietnamese down significantly

Illustrative image (Source: VOV)

Drastic action taken to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in recent months, according to MARD official.

by Van Chi

Illegal fishing in foreign waters by Vietnamese boats has declined considerably as a result of drastic efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, according to an official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Vietnam News Agency reports.

The State news agency quoted Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, Director of the Department for Science-Technology and International Cooperation at MARD’s Directorate of Fisheries as telling the ministry’s press conference on March 2 about remedies for the yellow card warning Vietnam received from the European Commission (EC) on October 23, 2017 for failing to push the fight against IUU fishing.

The EC also proposed nine recommendations that Vietnam should implement in the six months from October 23, 2017 to April 23, 2018. The “yellow card” is followed by a “green card” if the problem is resolved or a “red card” if it isn’t. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

Ms. Dung said that over the past month, the whole political system, from the central to local level, and fishermen in Vietnam have taken drastic action to prevent and combat IUU fishing.

There have been an array of urgent solutions adopted, including adding anti-IUU fishing regulations to legal documents, enforcing regulations, disseminating solutions to fishermen and relevant parties, enhancing cooperation with coastal areas and islands to prevent IUU fishing, and holding dialogue to update the EC on Vietnam’s efforts to improve fisheries management.

She noted that the amended Law on Fisheries, approved by the National Assembly on November 21, 2017, incorporated the EC recommendations as much as possible. Regulations relevant to IUU fishing are featured in almost all chapters and articles of the law, from the chapter on general regulations to those on fishery resources protection, management of fishing activities, fishing boats and fishery ports, and the responsibility of authorities at all levels.

Competent agencies have made amendments to and issued implementation documents in a timely manner, Ms. Dung said, adding that the Directorate of Fisheries has coordinated with the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the Vietnam Fisheries Society (Vinafish), and political and social organizations in implementing the recommendations.

VASEP has worked with seafood businesses to cease the buying or importing of seafood fished illegally, without a clear origin, or that are banned from fishing.

Vinafish has urged its branches in coastal provinces and its members to implement solutions to IUU fishing, step up communications activities, and encourage businesses and boat owners to cooperate with authorities of countries such as Brunei and Papua New Guinea in fishing.

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