Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Ca Mau (VNA) – The southernmost province of Ca Mau is tightening control of local fishing vessels operating at sea in line with national efforts to fight illegal, unreported and uncontrolled (IUU) fishing.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Tien Hai said along with bolstering educational campaigns for fishermen on relevant laws and regulations, authorised agencies have applied strict sanctions against owners of fishing ships violating foreign waters.

He said local agencies are working to ensure that every worker in the fishing industry from fisherman to small trader, every local official and organisations involved in fisheries know about the EC’s yellow card warning Vietnam about IUU.

Fishing vessel owners will have their operating licence withdrawn and will be refused new licence if any of their vessels is found to be arrested overseas or detected to have violated foreign waters though the satellite-based monitoring system.

The chairman has instructed relevant agencies and local administrations to remove Movimar satellite geo-positioning devices from fishing ships under 24m in length to transfer to vessels of 24m and longer.

He stressed that authorized agencies will take strong measures against fishing ships and individuals who fail to turn on Movimar devices around the clock when going fishing offshore.

Ca Mau will promptly upgrade the GPS-integrated VX-1700 satellite communication machines which have been installed on ships and port management units to ensure automatic reports on ship arrivals.

On October 23, 2017, the EC issued a “yellow card” warning to Vietnam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing.

A working delegation from the EC’s General Directorate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries visited Vietnam from May 16-24 to inspect the country’s implementation of the EC’s nine recommendations related to the fight against IUU fishing.

The nine recommendations included revisions to the legal framework to ensure compliance with international and regional rules, applicable to the conservation and management of fisheries resources; ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of the country’s revised laws; and strengthening the effective implementation of international rules and management measures.

The EC’s delegation said the Vietnamese localities’ efforts against the IUU fishing remained particularly weak in some specific areas.

 The EC inspectors will return to Vietnam in January 2019 to review the country’s progress in addressing its “yellow card” warning.-VNA