|The Cà Mau Province Border Guard checks on a fishing boat. – VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt|
CÀ MAU – Cà Mau Province has strengthened efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.
Its Border Guard Command routinely works with other agencies to inspect all fishing boats.
This helps promptly penalise boats that turn off their vessel monitoring system (VMS), an indication they encroached into foreign waters for fishing.
It also helps monitor the origin of catches.
The Border Guard Command has disseminated information about the Border Law and IUU fishing several times this year to improve the awareness of officials and people living in coastal areas about managing and protecting maritime and island sovereignty and developing the marine economy.
Aware of the importance of removing Europe’s “yellow card” for the country for IUU fishing, fishing boat owners have signed commitments not to trespass into foreign waters.
The province has around 5,000 fishing boats, of which 1,500 are 15 meters or longer and have all been equipped with VMS.
Nguyễn Trọng Nghĩa was one of the first boat owners in Trần Văn Thời District’s Sông Đốc Town to do so.
His boat often has four to five men when fishing squid and the device ensures its safety, he said.
One time in 2021, while fishing offshore, the captain took the boat into foreign waters and the Sông Đốc Border Guard discovered it, he said.
It promptly called the captain and also told his family to contact him and tell him to return to Vietnamese waters, he said.
He and the captain then signed a commitment not to violate regulations again, he added.
Phùng Đức Huy, chief of the Border Guard Command, said the province has set up a Fishing Boat Monitoring Centre in his office to promptly discover violations.
The centre monitors all fishing boats, both active and inactive, and instructs captains and owners of fishing boats to return when they encroach into foreign waters.
Boats that do not heed the warning are penalised, he said.
The province has a coastline of 254km, and its boats caught about 58,535 tonnes of seafood in the first quarter of this year, up 2.8 per cent year-on-year, according to its Fisheries Sub-department. – VNS