Authorities of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang have taken a wide range of measures to fight IUU fishing as a part of the national efforts to remove the European Commission (EC)’s ‘yellow card’ warning against Vietnam’s seafood exports.
According to a report of the High Command of the Coast Guard Region 4, stationed on Phu Quoc Island, through patrolling and controlling the Southwest waters bordering neighboring countries, on average, this unit detects approximately 20 fishing vessels breaking illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing regulations (IUU).
Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has ordered coastal and border guards and police forces to step up patrols, inspections, and handling of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing at sea and in ports.
Vietnam must put an end to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in a bid to have the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” removed by the end of 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at a virtual meeting on the issue on September 7.
After nearly four years of struggling to remove the yellow card issued by the European Council (EC), many remain worried that the red card may soon be issued, and access to the lucrative European Union (EU) markets denied altogether.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the World Bank (WB) in Vietnam on August 10 released “A Trade-Based Analysis of the Economic Impact of Non-Compliance with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing: The Case of Vietnam”.
According to the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, with 82 percent of fishing vessels equipped with vessel monitoring systems, traceability and the application of culturing area codes have significantly improved. However, if there is still one fishing vessel that has not registered or illegally exploits, the European Commission (EC) will continue to keep a yellow card or even give a red card to Vietnam.
Removing the European Commission (EC)’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing “yellow card” is not easy and cannot be done overnight, but the Vietnamese business community and associations are still determined to do, not only to meet EU requirements, but also for the sake of sustainable fishery development.
Seafood exports of Vietnam to the EU market have been affected seriously, dropping by 6.5 percent to nearly US$390 million in 2018 and continuing to be stagnant in the first eight months of this year with $251 million after two years since the European Commission issued an official card warning against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) exploitation on Vietnamese seafood.