|A border guard checks a fishing boat before departing from Bến Lội-Bình Châu District in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị|
BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — The Coast Guard High Command held a conference in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu on Tuesday looking at ways to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and crimes at sea.
A report by the People’s Committee of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu showed that the province has 5,409 fishing vessels, including 2,808 offshore fishing vessels, of which 92.83 per cent have installed vessel monitoring systems (VMS).
The province has applied various measures against IUU, including the formation of a steering committee on IUU prevention and control and six offices to control fishing activities, along with plans to control fishing activities and the signing of coordination agreements with coastal localities to remove the “yellow card” issued by the European Commission.
In April, the province signed a coordination programme with the High Command of Naval Zone 2 and the High Command of Coast Guard Zone 3 to manage fisheries activities and combat IUU, while working with relevant agencies to enforce the Fisheries Law.
Since the beginning of this year, the provincial Border Guard High Command has detected 18 vessels that violated regulations, and issued fines of VNĐ386.5 million.
So far this year, only one case of violating foreign waters has been reported.
However, the provincial People’s Committee also pointed to shortcomings in coordination with relevant agencies.
Nguyễn Công Vinh, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, urged departments, sectors, agencies and localities to work harder to encourage local fishermen to avoid violations.
Deputy Commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard Colonel Vũ Trung Kiên proposed that agencies and localities continue to coordinate closely to effectively implement IUU prevention and combat measures, while giving ideas to deal with shortcomings.
He also asked authorised agencies to advise the Government to direct the implementation of projects to control aquatic farming and development activities, combining maritime exploitation with environmental protection and safeguarding of national sovereignty. — VNS