Viet Nam seriously implements EC recommendations in IUU fishing combat: Ministry
Viet Nam has seriously implemented recommendations made by the European Commission (EC) to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)
Regarding the legal framework, the ministry has closely coordinated with the National Assembly (NA) committees and Government agencies to integrate the EC regulations into domestic laws.
Notably, the Government proposed the legislature approve the Law on Fisheries in November 2017 and issued two decrees. Meanwhile, the ministry issued eight guiding circulars. As a result, the legal framework was essentially completed in 2019, meeting the requirements of the IUU fishing combat.
|Checking the vessel monitoring system in Nghệ An Province. – VNA/VNS Photo|
Việt Nam is continuing to review, amend, and supplement the framework in line with reality and international regulations, as recommended by the EC in its third inspection.
The MARD has set out programmes, projects, and plans on the sustainable development of the fishery sector and the IUU fight and proposed them to the Prime Minister for approval.
The PM has also instructed localities to review their fishing fleets and upgrade their data and information in the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase), according to the ministry.
Twenty-six out of the 28 coastal cities and provinces have completed the review of their fishing vessels to date.
Up to 97.65 per cent of fishing boats measuring at least 15 metres long nationwide have been equipped with the vessel monitoring system (VMS). The remainder are under supervision.
The fight against IUU fishing has seen the engagement of border guards and law enforcement forces at sea, among others, the ministry said, stressing that no cases of Vietnamese fishing boats encroaching upon foreign waters have been reported so far.
Seafood traceability has been carried out in accordance with the Fisheries Law and the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA).
Regarding law enforcement and administrative punishment by localities and competent forces, the ministry said that since the beginning of this year, the authorities have imposed fines on 2,111 cases with a total of VNĐ44 billion (US$1.8 million).
In terms of international cooperation, Việt Nam signed the Joint Communiqué on Voluntary International Cooperation to Combat IUU Fishing and to Promote Sustainable Fisheries Governance with Indonesia, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the use of a hotline to deal with IUU fishing with Brunei, along with other documents with Australia and the US.
Việt Nam is negotiating to sign similar hotlines with Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, while effectively operating that with the Philippines and materialising cooperation agreements in this field with Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.