Fishery cooperation in the South China sea

18:14 15/03/2018

The Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) together with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Embassy of Australia co-hosted the 2nd Ocean Dialogue on Thursday 15 March entitled "Fishery Cooperation in the South China Sea". The Dialogue aimed to discuss the fishing situation in the South China Sea and find out ways for regional countries to improve fishery cooperation.

Guest speakers of the Dialogue were Captain Martin A. Sebastian (Senior Research Fellow of Maritime Institute of Malaysia), Dr. Shafiah Muhibat (Center for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia), Dr. Vu Thanh Ca (Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment), and Ms. Wang Guan (National Institute for South China Sea Studies, China).

The 2nd Ocean Dialogue took place in the context of the emergence of grave challenges to fishery in the region. Overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Fishing), the use of destructive catch methods, and low awareness of maritime environment protection have all together contributed to the reduction of fish stocks in the South China Sea. Conducted in “talk show” format, the Dialogue provided experts with a valuable opportunity to share their view on the fishing situation in the South China Sea and discuss ways to improve fishery cooperation in the region.

Guest speakers of the Dialogue 

At the opening of the Dialogue, Dr. Le Hai Binh, Vice President of the DAV, said that for regional countries, fishing in the South China Sea brings about more than simple economic benefits. It strongly affects the socio-economic stability and survival of hundreds of millions of people living along coastal areas. Fishery is also closely linked to legitimate rights to maritime resources as stated in international laws, especially the UNCLOS 1982.

Mr. Peter Girke, Head of the KAS Office in Hanoi contended that the fish stocks in the South China Sea have been depleted at an alarming rate. He argued that cooperation must balance a variety of national interests, such as fishery, protection of the ocean’s ecology and maritime activities.

Ms. Stacey Nation, Political Counsellor of the Embassy of Australia in Hanoi shared that Australia has a multi-facetted approach to addressing fishery issues. Australia has been working with Vietnam to foster effective fishery cooperation and will maintain its strong commitment to bilateral cooperation in the future.

Approximately 70 participants attended the Dialogue. 

Speakers at the Dialogue covered a wide range of issues concerning fishery cooperation in the region, including overfishing and IUU fishing, regional fishery cooperation experience, and new initiatives to address fish stocks depletion in the South China Sea.

Approximately 70 participants, representing  a variety of disciplines including the Vietnamese government ministries, academia, the Diplomatic community in Hanoi, and Australian Alumni attended the Dialogue.