Strong measures needed to resolutely eradicate illegal fishing: Minister

Strong measures must be taken to resolutely eradicate illegal fishing in foreign waters in order to address the European Commission (EC)’s warning against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Border guards of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province disseminate anti-IUU fishing regulations to a fisherman. (Photo: VNA)

Border guards of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province disseminate anti-IUU fishing regulations to a fisherman. (Photo: VNA)

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan made the statement in a report on some issues to be discussed at the coming 25th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee.

Highlighting ministries, sectors, and localities’ moves taken so far, he perceived that it is necessary to ramp up crackdowns on violations of anti-IUU fishing regulations.

In addition, fishery associations and exporters of aquatic products must adamantly deny buying, processing, or exporting seafood coming from IUU fishing activities. They also need to provide information for authorities to strictly deal with companies that lend a hand to IUU fishing, Hoan added.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 84.4 percent of the existing fishing vessels have been registered and had their information updated on the national database of the fisheries sector to serve monitoring and management. The remaining 15.6 percent, which are ineligible for registration, have been put under the management of localities.

As many as 28,797 fishing vessels, equivalent to 97.65 percent of the total, have been equipped with vessel monitoring systems. However, the violation of the rule on maintaining those systems’ operations is still popular, it noted.

After the third inspection in October 2022, the EC delegation continued to recommend Vietnam improve four groups of issues, namely the legal framework; fleet management, vessel monitoring and examination; origin tracing; and law enforcement.

The EC issued a “yellow card” warning against Vietnam's seafood due to IUU fishing in 2017. The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if the problem is resolved or a "red card" if it is not. A “red card” may lead to a ban on seafood exports to the EU.

An EC delegation is scheduled to return to Vietnam for the fourth fact-finding trip this October.

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