|Cà Mau border guard officers patrolling the waters off the southernmost province of Việt Nam for IUU activities. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sent a document to coastal communities, asking them to quickly establish their own fisheries surveillance teams to enforce legal regulations on the exploitation and protection of aquatic resources.
In a document sent to chairpersons of the municipal and provincial People’s Committees, the ministry pointed to the fact that aquatic resources, biodiversity and marine ecosystems are declining rapidly, along with huge and unsustainable exploitation.
Meanwhile, the apparatus organisation for law enforcement in the localities has yet to be strengthened, and there are shortages of both workforce and equipment to carry out patrols, inspections and the settlement of wrongdoings at sea, leading to the high rate of violations of relevant legal regulations.
According to the ministry, about 20 per cent of the inspected vessels have committed violations.
After three inspections on Việt Nam's actions against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the European Commission (EC) concluded that law enforcement in the country remains inefficient, asynchronous and inconsistent between localities, and is not strong enough to ensure deterrence.
The commission regards this as a serious problem and asked Việt Nam to step up inspections, supervisions and the handling of the fishing boats that violate legal regulations on the exploitation and protection of aquatic resources, especially those illegally operating in foreign waters.
In an effort to remove the EC’s “yellow card” this year, the ministry has asked the communities to quickly form fisheries surveillance forces in line with the Fisheries Law and the Law on Organisation of Local Administration.
The ministry said only nine out of the 28 coastal cities and provinces have established such teams so far. — VNS