New aquatic resource management models in Binh Thuan prove effective against IUU

Binh Thuan Province has adopted new models of aquatic resource management to fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Fishermen in Thuan Quy Commune of Ham Thuan Nam District are releasing Anadara subcrenata into the sea

Due to overexploitation, the aquatic resources along the sea areas of Thuan Quy, Tan Thanh, and Tan Thuan in Ham Thuan Nam District of Binh Thuan Province are seeing depletion, severely affecting the livelihood of local people there.

Aware of this, in 2015, the People’s Committee of Ham Thuan Nam District decided to let Thuan Quy Fisherman's Community Association to manage more than 16km2 of seawater surface. With the help of the local authorities, 60 members in the Association established 44 clusters of artificial reef for marine creatures to reside and reproduce. In addition, 112 tonnes of Anadara subcrenata have been released into the sea for regeneration.

Three years later, another 27km2 of seawater surface was given to the fishermen associations in the communes of Tan Thanh and Tan Thuan for management. 250 members of these associations worked with the functional agencies to create 12 clusters of artificial reef for marine creatures to live. Hundreds of thousands of breeds have been released into the sea for nurturing.

More importantly, the fishermen community in Tan Thuan Commune has formed a task force to monitor the fight against IUU to timely detect and stop any illegal seafood exploitation.

Thanks to the above cooperation between the local government and fishermen to make new homes for sea creatures, the aquatic resources in Binh Thuan Province are gradually being regenerated. Fishermen are now more confident when going fishing.

Director Huynh Quang Huy of the Fisheries Department of Binh Thuan Province shared that the province is one of the first localities in the country to give the management rights and protection of aquatic resources to local communities in compliance with the 2017 Fisheries Law.

At present, there are four community organizations with 562 households registered for this task. Among them, the communities of Thuan Quy, Tan Thanh, and Tan Thuan were approved.

“Thanks to the new co-management models, IUU activities have been limited, creating favorable conditions for sea creatures in different ecosystems to reproduce and develop healthily. Because of that, there have been increases in aquatic benefits to local people in general compared to the time before implementing these models”, stressed Director Huy.

The weakness is that most communities like this in Binh Thuan Province operate based on volunteering, without any financial support or proper training sessions for participants. Besides, there is not yet any legal mechanisms to bring about direct benefits or to ensure fairness for the communities in charge of co-managing the assigned sea areas, such as the right to nurture and exploit the aquatic resources or to carry out other livelihood activities related to these resources that they have spent time and money to protect and develop.

Therefore, Deputy Director Lai Duy Phuong of the Center for Fisheries Development in the Gulf of Tonkin (under the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries) proposed that the State should introduce suitable directions and support policies or specific mechanisms to help the above fishermen.

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