Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng speaks at a teleconference held in Hà Nội yesterday to review the implementation of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s Directive 45/CT-TTg on urgent tasks and solutions following the EC’s warning..—
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has said that convincing the European Commission (EC) to remove a “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood was of particular importance for the Government, ministries, agencies and localities.
Dũng made the statement at a teleconference held in Hà Nội yesterday to review the implementation of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s Directive 45/CT-TTg on urgent tasks and solutions following the EC’s warning.
The warning had exposed risks from Vietnamese seafood to the European Union and other markets around the world, having a negative impact on the production and lives of local residents, he said.
“If no solution is found, it will directly affect the output of the fisheries sector, and the livelihoods of fishermen as well as the development of the country’s marine economy, image and reputation,” Dũng said.
Dũng said most fishing boats belonged to individuals or households and had low capacities, so seafood exploitation was scattered and unorganized. The majority of fishermen followed traditional methods and had little awareness of the law.
“These factors have resulted in over-exploitation of seafood and illegal fishing in other countries’ territories,” he said, adding that illegal fishing had a negative impact on the country’s image and its relations with other countries.
Last October, the EC imposed a yellow card warning on Vietnamese seafood for failing to make progress in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Since the imposition of the yellow card, the Government, ministries, agencies and localities have been trying to meet the EC’s demands.
Specific actions to carry out the EC’s recommendations so the yellow card would be removed and achieving sustainable fisheries sector were also discussed by participants at the conference.
While appreciating the efforts made by ministries, agencies and people’s committees in coastal provinces, Dũng highlighted the need to review seafood exploitation, including compliance with international regulations.
He asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to submit to the Government a plan to establish a National Steering Committee to prevent illegal fishing with a view to unifying a direction from central to local levels.
Dũng asked MARD to coordinate with ministries, agencies and localities to guide, inspect and step up dissemination to ensure that fishermen, relevant organisations and individuals had sufficient information about the EC’s yellow card warning.
The deputy PM asked the Ministry of National Defence to monitor fishing vessels and punish those that fished in other countries’ waters, he said.
He also directed the Ministry of Industry and Trade to expand consumption and export markets for Vietnamese seafood as well as collaborate with related ministries to provide information about the country’s efforts to stop illegal fishing. — VNS