|As one of the four key fishing grounds in Việt Nam, Cà Mau has implemented measures to prevent IUU fishing including installing Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for all vessels from 15 metres long and above. — VNA/VNS Photo Huỳnh Anh|
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang has signed a decision issuing an action plan on fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and preparing for working sessions with the fourth inspection delegation of the European Commission (EC).
The plan’s objectives are to enforce legal provisions on fisheries in a concerted and effective manner, and address all shortcomings and limitations as recommended by the EC in order to have its “yellow card” warning removed within 2023.
It aims to unify awareness, actions and engagement of the whole political system in IUU fishing prevention and control. Heads of Party committees, Party organisations and authorities at all levels are requested to directly lead, instruct and take main responsibility for this work, considering it an urgent and prioritised political task.
The plan of action also highlights the importance of the management of exploitation and sustainable development of the fisheries sector for the benefits of the people and the country; and increasing Việt Nam’s international position, image and responsibility in the implementation of international commitments and treaties in the protection of the marine environment and sustainable marine ecosystems, thus contributing to ensuring national defence and security, and sovereignty.
To achieve these targets, the plan requires ministries, sectors and localities to review and make lists of all fishing vessels, and complete the registration, marking of vessels, licence issuance, installation of vessel monitoring system (VMS) according to regulations.
In addition, all ships will be inspected at border posts/stations when entering or leaving ports to ensure the VMS operates around the clock at sea, and be monitored via VMS while operating at sea. The process of verifying and certificating the origin of seafood must be carried out in accordance with the guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
From now to May, the plan aims to end illegally fishing in foreign waters; investigate and handle all cases of Vietnamese fishing vessels being arrested by other countries, and handle and sanction all IUU fishing-related cases, and publicise them on the mass media.
Việt Nam will push forward negotiations on delimitation of overlapping and undefined sea area between Việt Nam and countries such as China, Malaysia and other relevant neighbouring nations.
It will also intensify international cooperation activities on fisheries, IUU fishing prevention and control, and fishing cooperation with other countries and regional and international fisheries organisations.
Việt Nam will investigate and handle all cases of the country’s fishing vessels being detained by foreign countries, strictly punish all acts related to illegal fishing in the foreign waters and name them on the mass media, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến.
Regarding the fourth inspection of the European Commission (EC) to assess Việt Nam’s efforts to fight IUU fishing, slated for April 2023, the deputy minister said that his ministry will coordinate with other ministries and sectors to launch patrols and inspections, and strictly sanction all acts of IUU fishing according to regulations.
At the same time, efforts will be made to investigate and prosecute any cases of brokering and luring fishermen to conduct illegal fishing in the foreign waters.
In October 2017, the EC issued a "yellow card" warning against Vietnamese seafood exports after Vietnamese fishermen violated IUU regulations.
Since then, it has sent delegations to Việt Nam thrice to assess the country's implementation of the commission’s recommendations to have the card removed. — VNS