Vietnam determined to remove IUU yellow card

            Vietnam is strengthening efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as recommended by the European Commission (EC). According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, communications should be strengthened to dissuade fishing vessels from violating foreign waters and promote sustainable marine aquaculture and fisheries development in order to get the yellow card removed.

            With a strong determination to address shortcomings as recommended by the EC and get the yellow card removed, Vietnam's coastal localities have adopted plans to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by focusing on the management, monitoring, inspection, and control of fishing vessels.

            Efforts strengthened

            Kien Giang province has the largest number of fishing vessels (9,800) in Vietnam. The province has urged fishing vessel owners, business owners, and seafood processors to engage in the fight against IUU fishing. Local functional agencies have strengthened control of fishing vessels entering and leaving local ports and prevented ships from going fishing without meeting prescribed requirements such as installing a cruise monitoring device. The provincial People's Council issued a resolution to support a subscription fee for tracking equipment to reduce violations of foreign waters by fishermen.

            During his recent trip to Kien Giang to check the implementation of EC recommendations, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang said: “I highly appreciate the local effort and hope that with such strong efforts and determination no more ships will violate foreign waters. That’s the only way the yellow card will be removed.”

            The Sub-Department of Fisheries of Ben Tre province has been coordinating with the Provincial Border Guard to monitor local fishing vessels around the clock, promptly inform ship owners, captains, and authorities, and handle any loss of connection or crossing of the boundary at sea.

            In Ba Ria-Vung Tau province 2,600 fishing vessels - more than 95% of the local fishing vessels - have been equipped with cruise monitoring devices. Huynh Son Thai, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, said the province has set up three inter-sector checkpoints at sea to inspect and control fishing vessels, and has deployed campaigns to fight IUU fishing.

            Communications strengthened to raise awareness about sustainable fishing

            Thanh Hoa province's coastal border guards have coordinated with the local authorities and functional agencies to organize hundreds of communications campaigns and inspections of fishing boats. These activities have improved the awareness of fishermen, said Do Xuan Chung, Chairman of the People's Committee of Hai Thanh ward, Nghi Son town.

            "Over the years, the border guard force and the fishing port management board have worked closely with the Communal People’s Committee, fishermen, and captains to organize communications on combating IUU fishing. Fishermen in Hai Thanh ward have committed to not fishing illegally." said Mr. Chung.

            At a recent meeting with the fisheries sector on strengthening the fight against IUU fishing, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan emphasized the important role of marine aquaculture and the need to raise fishermen’s awareness about sustainable fishing. The Minister said marine aquaculture is aimed at reducing fishing, regenerating resources, and reducing conflicts over aquatic resources. Persistence in communications is needed to improve fishermen’s awareness about marine aquaculture, the protection of aquatic resources, and sustainable exploitation of sea resources. He said training should be strengthened to provide skills and find new jobs for fishermen.

            The European Commission's inspection team will visit Vietnam for a 4th inspection in October. This round of inspections is very important for Vietnam to get the yellow card removed. Ministries, sectors, localities, and fishermen who are directly exploiting and fishing in Vietnam's waters are determined to take action to implement the EC's IUU recommendation and work towards sustainable fishery development.

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