Deputy PM offers solutions to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung offered four solutions to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing at a meeting in Hanoi on Tuesday.
The senior Cabinet leader, who also served as the head of the national steering committee for anti-IUU fishing, chaired the second meeting of the agency, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
In October 2017, the European Commission (EC) issued a yellow card warning on Vietnam’s seafood exports to the European market as the country had failed to clamp down on IUU fishing.
Since then, Vietnam has acted on the nine recommendations from the EC.
These included ensuring the effective adoption of revised laws; enhancing the effective execution of international regulations and management measures; increasing the traceability of seafood products; preventing the sales of products from IUU fishing; and promoting cooperation with other countries.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy PM Dung called for thorough preparations for a working session with a delegation of EC inspectors who will arrive in Vietnam early next month.
The members of the committee, especially Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, were asked to brief inspectors on the country’s past achievements in the anti-IUU fishing effort.
The Deputy PM also asked ministries, agencies and the governments of 28 centrally run coastal cities and provinces to strictly follow the directives of the central Government, the prime minister and the committee to prevent and end IUU fishing.
He urged the concerned authorities to focus their attention on the execution of four major tasks.
First, the Ministry of Defense must issue a comprehensive plan on measures to end illegal fishing in foreign waters to reduce and later end violations before the end of this month and late this year, respectively.
The Ministry of Public Security must continue to monitor the situation and ensure citizens follow the law.
Meanwhile, the governments of coastal cities and provinces, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Defense, should closely monitor the activities of fishing vessels at sea.
The second task is to promptly upgrade infrastructure to monitor fishing vessels at sea, which will be connected with systems from the central to local levels.
The third task is to ramp up inspections to combat IUU fishing, with the agriculture ministry being assigned to hold working trips to localities to evaluate the effort.
The ministry could suggest commendations for individuals and organizations that have fulfilled their assigned tasks, as well as discipline for those who have shown a lack of responsibility.
For the long-term, Dung suggested the ministry devise a plan on restructuring the fisheries sector, with a shift toward farming instead of catching fish, and zoning off aquaculture areas.
Ministries and agencies were also asked to raise public awareness, both at home and abroad, on Vietnam’s efforts to remove the yellow card warning.