|Illustrative photo: Fishing vessels near the Sa Kỳ Port in central Quảng Ngãi Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has requested country leaders to heighten their focus on preventing Vietnamese fishermen from illegally harvesting seafood in foreign waters.
In official order No 732 issued on Sunday, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the situation is ongoing and has been getting more serious since the end of 2015 in the central provinces of Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định, and Bình Thuận, as well as southern provinces of Kiên Giang, Cà Mau, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bến Tre and Tiền Giang.
He requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to launch a national action plan on preventing, reducing and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, as well as making amendments to current regulations and adding terms of punishment to better regulate fishing vessels’ owners, captains, organisations and individuals that conduct IUU fishing.
He also requested the ministry to increase international collaboration on seafood harvesting, establish an international illegal fishing prevention hotline, carry out maritime patrols with concerned countries and popularise Việt Nam’s and international regulations on seafood harvesting among fishermen in areas where illegal fishing often takes place.
The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, is responsible for regulating activities of fishing vessels by ensuring they have completed necessary procedures, as well as checking relevant documents before allowing them to sail and return to land.
The ministry is also responsible for patrolling the border line waters and overlapping waters between countries, with a focus on detecting and tackling cases of connecting and investing for fishermen to fish illegally in foreign waters.
The Ministry of Information and Communication is responsible for popularising the delimitation of waters between Việt Nam and some neighbouring countries among citizens, as well as the Vietnamese and international regulations on seafood harvesting.
The chairmen of people’s committees of localities and leaders of local sectors where illegal fishing often takes place are responsible for reviewing, investigating and imposing penalties on authorities that perpetuate illegal fishing. They must also report their investigation results to the Prime Minister before August 15. — VNS