The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has requested coastal provinces and cities to employ multiple measures to crack down on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The request was the latest move by the MARD in an effort to have the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” lifted off Vietnamese seafood.
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.
Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
The MARD told provinces and cities to step up its campaign on raising awareness and updating local fishermen and seafood exporters on the “yellow card” and anti-IUU fishing regulations.
In the second half of 2018, coastal provinces and cities were recommended to mobilise resources and put forth suitable measures to monitor local fishing fleets. They were encouraged to apply strict punishments to fishermen arrested or detected on tracker systems for their illegal fishing on foreign waters. Those violators are subject to having their fishing licences revoked permanently.
The ministry also asked local authorities to collect all Movimar satellite geo-positioning devices installed on fishing ships under 24m in length for reinstalling on ships whose lengths are 24m or longer. These ship owners and captains were required to turn on Movimar devices around the clock when going fishing offshore.
The MARD recommended provinces and cities upgrade the GPS-integrated VX-1700 satellite communication machines which have been installed on ships and port management units to ensure automatic reports on ship arrivals.
A working delegation from the EC’s General Directorate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries visited Vietnam from May 16-24 to inspect the country’s implementation of the EC’s nine recommendations related to the fight against IUU fishing.
The nine recommendations included revisions to the legal framework to ensure compliance with international and regional rules, applicable to the conservation and management of fisheries resources; ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of the country’s revised laws; and strengthening the effective implementation of international rules and management measures.
The EC’s delegation said the Vietnamese localities’ efforts against the IUU fishing had shown little improvement and remained particularly weak in some specific areas.
The EC inspectors will return to Vietnam in January 2019 to review the country’s progress in addressing its “yellow card” warning.