Deputy PM asked for stronger efforts in combating illegal fishing

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang chaired the 8th meeting of the National Steering Committee on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Prevention and Control in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau on December 13.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang speaks at the 8th meeting of the National Steering Committee on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Prevention and Control in Ba Ria -Vung Tau province. (Photo:VNA)

The meeting was connected to the headquarters of the People's Committees of 28 coastal provinces and cities nationwide, and relevant ministries and agencies.

In his speech, the Deputy PM stressed that this is a crucial moment for Vietnam to have the European Commission (EC)'s "yellow card"; lifted, therefore, it is imperative for localities and relevant ministries and sectors to join hands and take more drastic measures to fix limitations and shortcomings related to IUU fishing.

He demanded relevant ministries, sectors and localities to coordinate effectively to pool all human and material resources to promptly have the "yellow card"; against Vietnamese seafood removed.

Law enforcement agencies at sea were required to intensify patrols and strict inspections to prevent fishing vessels from violating foreign waters. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security was tasked with urgently investigating and prosecuting cases involved in brokerage to lure Vietnamese vessels and fishermen to illegal fishing in foreign waters.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said Vietnam has been fighting illegal fishing for over six years. The goal is to have the EC’s yellow card warning removed. At the fourth inspection conducted by the commission in October this year, the organization recognized and appreciated Vietnam's performance in combating IUU fishing.

The EC has recommended Vietnam enhance measures for detecting, preventing, and prosecuting violators related to illegal fishing in foreign waters, especially those who intentionally disconnect their vessel monitoring systems (VMS) near the boundaries of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

The commission also asked for tighter control to ensure that all deregistered fishing vessels are not allowed to engage in fishing activities, and guarantee the accuracy of the information on fishing vessels on the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase), he said. Vietnam was requested to continue building a master plan for sustainable fisheries development in the period to 2050.

The EC also urged Vietnam to keep close control of and investigate fishing ports involved in the confirmation and certification of the origin of aquatic products, he said.

Participants underlined the need to boost coordination among localities in controlling the fleet of fishing boats, including the number of vessels, their registration, operational licences, and VMS installation.

They called for stricter solutions and stronger efforts to prevent fishing ships from violating foreign waters, and strict control of the certification of the origin of aquatic products, the imported materials for processing aquatic products.

On the same day morning, Deputy PM Quang made an inspection trip to Cat Lo fishing port in Vung Tau city.

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