Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang inspects the status of IUU "yellow card" removal in Ca Mau, Kien Giang


Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang inspects the status of IUU "yellow card" removal in Ca Mau, Kien Giang

On June 26, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang led a Government delegation to inspect the situation of removing the IUU "yellow card" in Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces.

The survey was conducted in the context that less than 4 months left, Vietnam will welcome the inspection team of the European Commission (EC) to inspect the work against illegal, unreported and unreported fishing according to regulations ( against IUU fishing ) for the 4th time in Vietnam.

Transparent and legal fishing - one of the conditions for the EC to remove the IUU "yellow card"

Reporting to the Deputy Prime Minister and the delegation during the survey trip, according to the Steering Committee on IUU of Kien Giang province, the number of fishing vessels that have installed cruise monitoring equipment is 3,634/3,698, accounting for 98.26% of fishing vessels of 15m long or more; the remaining 64 fishing boats lying ashore have not yet installed cruise monitoring.

The functional forces of Kien Giang province, in collaboration with localities, have opened many peaks of patrol and control at sea and have handled vehicles violating IUU fishing.

Departments and branches of Kien Giang province have handled 85 cases/85 ships with a total fine of over 2.6 billion VND. The localities have made minutes and issued decisions to sanction administrative violations of 57/116 fishing boats with a total amount of 602 million VND. Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, provincial departments and branches have sanctioned 50 cases of using tracking devices against regulations with a total amount of over 9.5 billion VND.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang visits the Song Doc border checkpoint - Photo: VGP/Hai Minh

In Ca Mau province , according to this local leader, the province has 4,148 fishing boats, of which 1,515 fishing vessels with the largest length of 15 m or more are installed with cruise monitoring and marking equipment according to regulations, reaching the rate of 100%.

The rate of updating fishing vessel data into VN-Fishbase software and fishing vessel monitoring system reached 100%; inspect and control 100% of fishing vessels entering and exiting berths at border checkpoints and IUU offices located at 2 designated fishing ports (Song Doc and Rach Goc); 24/7 monitoring and surveillance at the Fishing Vessel Monitoring System.

The situation of fishing vessels in violation of foreign waters tends to decrease but is still complicated. In 2022, the province has 7 fishing vessels/50 crew members exploiting seafood in violation of foreign waters. From the beginning of 2023 until now, Ca Mau province has received information that 3 fishing vessels violating foreign waters were arrested and handled.

Ca Mau's functional forces detected and fined 262 violations on fishing, with an amount of more than 9 billion VND (violation on IUU fishing 147 cases/7,306 billion VND). In addition, the province is investigating and handling a number of cases where fishing vessels hide and send tracking devices.

About difficulties and obstacles that this locality is facing in removing the IUU "yellow card", according to the leader of Ca Mau province, the sale of fishing boats without declaration and re-registration procedures with the agency’s competent authorities, especially to sell outside the province, leading to many difficulties in the management, investigation and verification of violations. Some features on the Fishing Vessel Monitoring System have not been completed. Fishery infrastructure in the province has not been invested or upgraded commensurate with actual needs. The size and number of designated fishing ports do not meet the demand for docking and leaving ports for loading and unloading of caught fishery products for traceability.

Therefore, Ca Mau province proposes the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to consider and issue specific regulations on the implementation of responsibilities and civil procedures in the purchase and sale of fishing vessels, conversion of fishing license quotas, and more fisheries. At the same time, direct to review and supplement the fishing vessel monitoring system to facilitate the locality in the process of monitoring, exploiting and processing data. Besides, it is proposed that the Ministry advise the competent authorities to support about 749 billion VND for the province to invest in a fishing port on the south bank of Song Doc, contributing to overcoming the EC's "yellow card" warning, etc.

Due to the difficulty of verification and proof to handle and sanction fishing vessels illegally fishing in foreign waters, due to the lack of official documents or judgments from the arresting country, Ca Mau proposed The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested relevant countries' functional agencies to provide information, records and evidence to serve as a basis for functional forces to consolidate records and handle violations according to regulations. 

According to Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang, Ca Mau has great seafood potential, shrimp export turnover accounts for more than a quarter of the country, mainly exported to the EU market, so the province needs to make more efforts in protecting and sustainable fishing because if the IUU "yellow card" is not removed, Ca Mau will be one of the most affected localities.

Agree with the proposal of Ca Mau province, it is necessary to have a mechanism to encourage and attract private resources to invest in developing fishing port infrastructure on the principle that the State and investors both benefit when the resources from the budget are still available. limitations, the Deputy Prime Minister also shared with the difficulties of the functional forces in performing their tasks in the condition that their assigned competence is limited, especially in sanctioning work, and at the same time, equipment is not up to par. reach the mission requirements.

With Kien Giang - the locality with the largest fishing fleet in the country, the largest output in the country - the Deputy Prime Minister shared with the difficulties the province is facing when dealing with IUU violations and the difficulties of fishermen.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that recently, Kien Giang province has had many positive signals in its efforts to combat IUU fishing; I hope that the People's Committee of Kien Giang province and functional sectors will coordinate well and have many solutions to prevent fishing vessels from violating foreign waters, and try to remove the EC's IUU "yellow card" from now until the end of 2023.

The Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Government Office to fully synthesize the opinions and recommendations of other coastal localities to have a master plan for handling and removing.

After the survey in these two localities, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang will chair a meeting with the southwestern provinces in Can Tho city on the prevention of smuggling, drug prevention and IUU fishing in the coming year on the afternoon of June 28

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