Việt Nam strictly punishes illegal fishing activities: Deputy Minister

VIETNAM, DECEMBER 22 – Vietnam faces the European Commission’s (EC) prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing after receiving a ‘yellow card’ warning from the European Commission (EC) five years ago. Improved fisheries to meet requirements for

An EC delegation will visit Vietnam next year to assess these anti-IUU fishing measures.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến told Vietnam News Agency about the issue.

What are the challenges in implementing anti-IUU fishing measures?

In fact, a small number of Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessels are still fishing illegally in foreign waters. The EC has confirmed that it will not lift the ‘yellow card’ warning if Vietnam does not stop this.

In addition, registration, fishing permits, and cruise monitoring systems (VMS) have not yet been installed. Vessels data are not fully updated in the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase).

Law enforcement and administrative punishment remain weak and lack synchronicity. Some regions do not have anti-IUU fishing measures in place.

The slow removal of the above restrictions is caused not only by fishermen’s awareness, but also by the lack of accountability of some organizations and individuals in carrying out their duties in inspection and monitoring of anti-IUU fishing measures.

What strict measures should be taken to end this situation?

First and foremost, local governments at all levels must improve accountability in implementing anti-IUU fishing measures and point out organizations and individuals who are not fully fulfilling their duties and responsibilities in combating IUU fishing.

Local governments can quickly calculate the number of fishing vessels, complete the issuance of licenses and installation of monitoring equipment, and the national fisheries database (Vnfishbase) as regulated to meet information retrieval and boat management requirements. vessel data update must be completed. .

Fishing ports, on the other hand, must compile statistics of all docking locations, monitor and supervise all catches to ensure traceability, and strictly handle vessels that do not dock at designated ports.

Coastal states and cities shall establish a list of fishing vessels that have ever violated foreign waters. In addition, a list of fishing vessels without VMS equipment, with expired fishing licenses, and at high risk of violating IUU fishing must be sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Defense for monitoring and control.

Authorities should use the National Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to closely monitor and supervise the activities of local fishing vessels at sea.

Regulations regarding the management of VMS equipment on board fishing vessels must be strictly adhered to, and fishing vessels intentionally disconnecting their vessel’s VMS equipment from the national vessel monitoring system must be severely dealt with.

Local governments and the Vietnam Fisheries Association are stepping up communication to raise public awareness of respecting the law.

Seafood exporters and producers associations and seafood companies must adamantly reject the purchase, processing and export of seafood from IUU fishing activities. At the same time, we will provide information to authorities and take strict action against seafood companies that support IUU fishing activities.

The EC inspection team is scheduled to return to Vietnam in April 2023 to assess fisheries measures against IUU. What will MARD and other ministries, sectors and regions do to get the best results from this inspection?

For best results from the 4th EC inspection, together with the above solutions, from now until April 2023, all fishing vessels should be registered, food safety certificates and fishing licenses granted, and VMS equipment installed. must be completed. It also updates fishing vessel data in the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase).

All fishing vessels with a maximum length of 15m or more are only permitted to dock in their assigned port, ensuring that the VMS equipment is in operation from the time the vessel leaves port until it docks in port. Please give me. They must also have a fishing logbook as per the regulations.

Meanwhile, the system’s software for managing imported fisheries is connected to the National Single Window Portal and manages all caught seafood imported from abroad in accordance with the provisions of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

Along with that, there is also a solution to strictly control the seafood imported into Vietnam by container ships.

Vietnam also strictly handles violations of Vietnamese fishing vessels in foreign countries and cases of illegal fishing in foreign waters.

MARD will coordinate with other ministries and sectors to initiate patrols and inspections and strictly authorize all IUU fishing activities in accordance with regulations.

At the same time, efforts will be made to investigate and prosecute all cases of recruiting and luring fishermen to engage in illegal fishing in foreign waters.

In addition, MARD is drafting an action plan for IUU fishing activities to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

Through synchronous and efficient implementation of existing regulations, Vietnam will strive to remove ‘yellow card’ warnings in 2023.VNS

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