Trần Đình Luân. — Photo nongnghiep.vn
Trần Đình Luân, deputy director general of the Directorate of Fisheries, under the Ministry of Agriculture, speaks to Nông thôn Ngày nay (Countryside Today) newspaper on the need for a sustainable fishing industry.
What are the main points of the 2017 Vietnamese Law on Fisheries?
The first Law on Fisheries was adopted in 2003 and then was revised in 2017 and will come into force on January 1, 2019.
The most salient point in the revised law is that it gives very detailed ideas about joint-management in the protection of fisheries resources, including the concept of co-management, particularly community involvement in the protection of fisheries resources.
One of the highlights in the new Fisheries Law is the management of fingerlings or baby fish. The law states clearly that every five years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will survey fisheries and their living environment to come up with a workable plan on how to protect and exploit them efficiently and sustainably.
The law also has specific regulations on the management of fingerlings and their feed to keep the fish healthy.
Under the law, fisheries enterprises will have to take responsibility for their aqua-products and concerned agencies will then only do post checks - not pre-checks as it was done in the past.
Can you explain a little bit about the Government’s quota on fisheries exploitation?
A big point in the Fisheries Law which will come into effect in early 2019 is that it gives a quota for the exploitation of some migrant fishes and groups of aqua species. The new policy is to respond to international law on protecting and preserving some special species.
Under the Fisheries Law, local provincial authorities will be responsible for offshore fishing activities by their local fishermen in accordance with the fishing quota given by the central Government. The quota is subject to change within five years of the date of the issuance.
Will you please explain about the yellow card the EU has imposed on Viet Nam for failing to make progress in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing?
The recommendations which were included in the revised Law on Fisheries will come into effect in 2019. Việt Nam has been working to implement the European Commission (EC)’s recommendations since it announced a yellow card on Vietnamese fisheries on October 23, 2017.
In the revised Law on Fisheries, we have stated clearly all behaviours within IUU fishing are strictly banned. If any violation is detected due punishments will be given to the ship owner and the ship captain and the fine may reach VNĐ1 billion (US$42,700). In addition, all offshore fishing boats longer than 15 metres are required to use log books to record their daily activities.
What will the impact of the law on Vietnamese fishermen and aqua-culture in general be?
It is no doubt the 2019 revised Law on Fisheries will have certain major impacts on our aqua-culture industry. Fishermen will have to uphold both Vietnamese and international laws, particularly rules on the retrieval of filing requests. In other words, we’re now working in a production chain, so we must strictly follow both domestic and international requirements.— VNS