Vietnam determined to remove EC’s yellow card fishing warning by 2022

10:32 02/11/2021

Numerous stronger measures have been implemented by 28 coastal provinces and cities nationwide in the past four years in a bid to prevent and combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, towards developing a sustainable fishery sector, having the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” lifted and promoting Vietnam’s seafood exports.

A delegation from the European Commission (EC) had an online meeting with the Directorate of Fisheries on October 27 to review Vietnam’s efforts against illegal, unreported and undocumented fishing (IUU), said the directorate's Deputy General Director Nguyen Quang Hung.

Vietnam determined to remove EC’s yellow card fishing warning by 2022 -0
Vietnam determined to remove EC’s yellow card fishing warning by 2022

The official said with the drastic involvement of ministries and agencies, Vietnam expects to have the "yellow card" warning of the EC lifted by 2022-2023.

Hung added that if communes deliver on their commitment of ending fishing vessels' violations in foreign waters by December 31, 2021, the country can focus on existing problems inside the country and solve them within 2022. In its draft project on IUU prevention and control, the Directorate of Fisheries also set the goal of having yellow card removed by 2022-2023.

Since the EC imposed the “yellow card” on the Vietnamese fishery sector, the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has set up and completed a provincial steering committee and inspection groups based at fishing ports to popularise IUU prevention regulations to fishermen.

The province has regularly organised inspections and examinations on legal documents, necessary equipment of fishing vessels before allowing them to go offshore and dock at Tran De fishing port.

Like Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Tra Vinh and Ca Mau provinces have also rolled out measures to enhance local fishermen’s awareness of sustainable offshore fishing.

Nguyen Viet Trieu, Vice Director of the Fishery Sub-Department of Ca Mau province, said that in order to minimise IUU fishing activities, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has given advice to the provincial People’s Committee on preventive measures and coordinated with relevant agencies to build and implement synchronic solutions such as closely supervising and monitoring fishing vessels committing violations in foreign waters.

Ca Mau's authorities have refused to issue new fishing licences to vessels repeating their violations and not allowed their captains and owners to enjoy fishery support policies from the State, he said.

Meanwhile, drastic measures have been also carried out to fight IUU fishing activities in other coastal provinces and cities. Currently, many localities have shown strong performance in the work, including Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Kien Giang and Bac Lieu provinces.

In reality, active and prompt efforts to remove the EC “yellow card” on the Vietnamese fishery sector also aim to protect the lives of fishermen at sea.

Since 2012, 21 nations have been issued “yellow card” warnings and six other nations have been given red card warnings by the EC. Of those, three have managed to remove the red card and 14 have removed the yellow card.