Joint efforts exerted to fight IUU fishing

May 23, 2023 - 07:31
Authorities, localities, fishermen, and businesses have kept taking measures to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, striving to get the European Commission (EC)'s “yellow card” warning to be removed soon.
Offshore fishing vessels are at Mỹ Tân fishing port in the south central province of Ninh Thuận. VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành

HCM CITY Authorities, localities, fishermen, and businesses have been taking measures to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, striving to get the European Commission (EC)'s “yellow card” warning removed.

Of the measures, implementing the Law on Fisheries is a vital part of the inspection relating to fishing activities. Relevant parties, particularly the border guards, the coast guards, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have been jointly raising the awareness of law compliance for fishermen.

Coast Guard Region 4 Command has conducted many communication activities in the southern region to raise awareness of IUU fishing.

From the end of March, it and the Bến Tre Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development organised events providing local fishermen with useful information on the prevention of IUU fishing, measures to verify and handle violations, the essential content of the Law on Coast Guard 2018, legal documents on prevention and combat of IUU fishing, and the situation of fishing vessels/fishermen in the area violating foreign waters, consequences, causes, and solutions.

Border guards and other agencies are actively monitoring and inspecting fishing vessels and activities at sea. The force has also intensified patrols and prevents fishing vessels with signs of staying uncontacted or entering foreign seas.

Dương Văn Chương, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Ba Tri District, Bến Tre Province, said the training and communication programmes for fishermen in offshore fishing are helpful, helping them better understand legal regulations, safe fishing, not violating the sovereignty of other countries, and sustainable development of fisheries.

In the southernmost province of Cà Mau, the command has also conducted communication campaigns about the Party's guidelines, the State's policies and laws on protecting the sovereignty of sea and islands in the new situation, and against IUU fishing.

As the inspection of raw materials purchasing, processing, and exporting activities of Vietnamese enterprises is one of the four contents designated by the EC to check Việt Nam’s measures in the fight against IUU fishing, seafood processors and exporters have also taken precise moves.

According to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood is one of the four essential export items of Việt Nam's aquaculture industry. It is estimated that on average, tuna and other seafood exports bring the country a turnover of more than US$4 billion yearly.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Sắc, Chairwoman of VASEP’s Seafood Committee, said that seafood processing and exporting enterprises serving the European market strictly comply with regulations against IUU fishing.

Seafood processing and exporting enterprises always strive to have clear sources of raw materials. Despite difficulties in purchasing raw seafood with traceability, businesses must do so to gain a reputation and attract customers in the current fierce competition.

As the EC has imposed a “yellow card” warning on Việt Nam's seafood exports, local businesses have had to import more raw materials of clear origin from other countries for processing and export.

"Following the rules and criteria against IUU fishing is imperative for the business community. Despite a 70 per cent drop in exports to the European market, seafood processing and exporting enterprises still have to make efforts to do well to keep the market," said Cao Thị Kim Lan, Director of Bình Định Seafood Joint Stock Company. VNS