The Directorate of Fisheries in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Central Province of Quang Ngai, the Small Grants Program, the Global Environment Fund, the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam, and the Vietnam Fisheries Association organized the forum.
Mr. Ho Trong Phuong, Director of Quang Ngai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Quang Ngai has established and put into operation Ly Son marine protected area as well as set up the volunteer group to protect and conserve sea turtles on Ly Son island.
Annually, the volunteers release and regenerate aquatic resources with nearly 10,000 aquatic breeds of all kinds in reservoirs, rivers, and coastal waters.
At the same time, the province gives support to 299 fishermen's groups, 12 fisheries unions, 15 fisheries associations, and eight offshore fishing and service cooperatives. Fishermen have been performing the pioneering role, sharing responsibility for the protection of aquatic resources with the State and the authorities.
In the coming time, the Small Grants Program, the Global Environment Fund, and the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam are building the project ‘Promoting sustainable community development in Binh Son harmoniously with socio-ecological harmonization with industrialization and urbanization, together with empowering communities in coral management and protection, preservation of traditional knowledge culture and development of livelihoods’.
Thereby, it will continue to affirm the role of the community in the management and protection of coral ecosystems in particular and the protection of aquatic resources in coastal waters in general.
At the forum, representatives of several central provinces shared good models in management and how to establish community groups in the management and protection of aquatic resources.
For instance, the Central Province of Binh Dinh has set up four community groups recognized by Quy Nhon City People's Committee. The four groups are assigned the right to manage the marine area to protect aquatic resources of 46,134ha and have 220 members join the community group, develop sustainable livelihoods, protection of aquatic resources associated with ecotourism development.
Several marine areas and the coral reef ecosystem including Bai Dua, Hon Kho Nho, Hon Nhan-Ghenh Rang, and Bai Tru-Nhon Chau in Binh Dinh Province were initially restored. Bai Dua has seen 75.6 percent coral coverage while it is 44.3 percent, 31.8 percent, and 23.1 percent in Hon Kho Nho, Hon Nhan-Ghenh Rang, and Bai Tru-Nhon Chau.
As a result, each year this group cooperates with the Coastal Border Guard Station to organize 8-10 sea patrols, handling over 10 cases of fishing vessels operating illegally in the assigned waters.
Director of the General Department of Fisheries Tran Dinh Luan affirmed that the role of the community in the management and protection of coral ecosystems in particular and the protection of aquatic resources in coastal waters is very important.
The forum also discussed issues against IUU fishing, including a thematic report on reviewing the development and implementation of regulations on IUU fishing in Vietnamese legal documents. Accordingly, on October 23, 2017, the European Commission (EC) issued a yellow card for Vietnam's caught seafood products exported to the European market (EU) for not fully complying with regulations on anti-IUU fishing.
After four years of receiving the yellow warning, Vietnam's commitment, political determination, and efforts in implementing the measures against IUU fishing have been highly appreciated and recognized by the EC. Especially, the installation of monitoring equipment for fishing vessels (VMS) has made progress. As of October 2021, out of 30,501 fishing vessels, 27,716 ones with a length of 15m or more have installed VMS equipment and have signal on the monitoring system reaching 90.87 percent.
At the forum, the Directorate of Fisheries awarded certificates of merit to organizations and individuals with excellent achievements in implementing co-management from 2019 through 2021 in three provinces of Ha Tinh, Binh Dinh, and Binh Thuan.