Illustrative image (Source: http://baobariavungtau.com.vn)

Ba Ria - Vung Tau (VNA) - Authorities of the southern province of Ba Ria -Vung Tau have revoked the operating licenses of 75 fishing ships for illegally fishing in foreign waters last year.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said this is part of efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in foreign waters, especially after the European Commission (EC) issued a “yellow card” warning to the country’s fishery sector.

Local authorities are also considering permanently withdrawing licenses for 12 local fishing vessels that violated regulations in the last five months.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Department, the causes of violations are due to local anglers’ poor knowledge of the law and a lack of strong punishments.

This violation has caused serious economic losses for local fishermen and affected diplomatic relations between Vietnam and other countries, as well as Vietnam’s prestige internationally.

The EC issued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam in September 2017 after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in fighting IUU fishing.

On December 13, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive on urgent tasks following the EC’s warning.

The whole political system, from the central to local level, and fishermen have taken actions to fight IUU fishing.

There have been an array of measures, including supplementing anti-IUU fishing regulations, enforcing issued regulations, disseminating solutions to fishermen and relevant parties and enhancing cooperation with coastal and island countries.-VNA