Efforts of Vietnam to remove IUU yellow card bloomed


After the European Commission (EC) imposed a yellow card on Vietnam’s seafood exported to EU market due to failures to meet regulations against illegal fishing (IUU), her Party and Government has given drastic directions to solve outstanding issues recommended by EC. After paying three working visits to inspect the actual situation in Vietnam, the EC highly appreciated Vietnam's efforts of implementing strong and methodical measures against IUU fishing over the past time. The EC also affirmed that, although Vietnam has not yet completely met the requirements set out, it is still on the right track with many positive improvements, especially in completing the legal framework, monitoring and managing fleet and output to dock, certification and traceability of seafood. These results have been achieved thanks to the drastic efforts of the whole political system and the efforts of all relevant ministries and local branches.

The EU has evaluated that Vietnam has made very positive progress in
addressing the "yellow card" issue

Regarding legal issues and law enforcement, Vietnam has actively researched, developed, supplemented, completed and implemented many relevant legal documents such as Law on Fisheries, Law of the Sea, Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of Law on Fisheries, Decree No. 17/2020/ND-CP of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of Law of the Sea on preventing and dealing with illegal exploitation of marine resources and management of fishing vessels, Directive No. 45/CT-TTg dated December 13, 2017 of the Prime Minister on a number of articles of Law of the Sea addressing urgent tasks and solutions to overcome the European Commission's warning against IUU fishing in the province; Decree No. 42/2019/ND-CP dated May 16, 2019 of the Government providing penalties for administrative violations in the sector of fisheries. These are important legal frameworks to help improving the effectiveness of prevention, control and handling of violations on aquaculture, fishing and seafood. In recent years, the Vietnamese authorities have actively stepped in, strengthening the inspection, supervision and process of violations. Therefore, the status of violations related to fishing and seafood has decreased positively which is highly appreciated by the EC.

In terms of monitoring and controlling the activities of fishing vessels, fleet management has been promoted by functional units, ministries, branches and localities. According to the inspection results, by the end of 2022, about 96.35% of Vietnamese fishing vessels have been installed with cruise monitoring equipment (VMS), more than 86.7% of fishing vessels are licensed to exploit. Currently, some localities in Vietnam already have regulations on disapproving of building, converting, renting or buying fishing vessels operating at sea for ship owners whom violated illegal fishing. The suspension of licensing also applies to cases of fishing vessels operating in trades and fishing gears on the banned list of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. There are still situations that ships with installed cruise equipments lose connection, or operate in the wrong areas, however Vietnam is trying every day to limit the cases and gradually eliminate the above situations. According to the authorities, in the coming time, Vietnam will accelerate the completion of the installation of VMS for the remaining fishing vessels, strengthen the investigation, monitoring and data processing of fishing vessels through the VMS system, and impose strictly penalties for fishing vessels with IUU fishing violations.

In addition, the Government of Vietnam is also very determined in directing functional agencies, ministries, branches and localities to strengthen propaganda against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, focusing on coastal areas and islands. The strengthening of propaganda is to continue creating a strong change in the people's sense of respect and observance of the laws of Vietnam and other countries in the fishing region at sea. Propagating and disseminating in a timely and sufficient manner the guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the Government, the legal regulations of the maritime countries in the region in the fishing field and the security and order at sea; focus on propagating international laws, sea areas where fishing is allowed, and overlapping seas between countries; information on handling cases of fishing vessels violating foreign waters, inspection and process of violations on IUU fishing.

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