BÌNH ĐỊNH — All fishing ships in Bình Định must obtain food safety certificates by the end of June as part of efforts to enhance the quality of fishery products caught by the south-central province's fishing fleet, according to a local agricultural official.
The province has been accelerating a campaign to raise local fishermen's awareness about their responsibility to abide by the Law on Fishery and persuade shipowners into signing a commitment to not encroach on foreign waters, said Trần Văn Phúc, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
These moves are intended to implement the European Commission (EC)’s recommendations to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practice to have the EC’s “yellow card” on Việt Nam’s seafood lifted, Phúc said.
In the first quarter of 2021, the provincial Fisheries Department granted more than 160 food safety certificates to fishing vessels with a length of 15 metres or more that have been licensed to operate offshore. So far, more than 2,800 out of 3,200 offshore fishing vessels in the province have received the certificate.
The department has streamlined procedures to cut time to get the food safety certificates in accordance with current regulations. Now it only takes a day for a food safety certificate to be issued, instead of three days as before, deputy director of the department Nguyễn Công Bình said.
There are nearly 400 boats of 15 metres or more in length without a food safety certificate in Bình Định, most of which fish offshore and dock to sell their catches in ports outside the province.
The sub-department plans to send officials to neighbouring coastal provinces to check the status of these ships and request them to obtain food safety certificates. — VNS