Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – Implementing the Government’s Decree No 67/2014/ND-CP on offshore fishing development, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has built and upgraded 59 fishing and logistic ships at total cost of 577 billion VND (25.4 million USD).

Of the sum, 410 billion VND were sourced from credit loans to support local fishermen. To date, 38 ships were put into operation.

The decree, which came into effect in August 2014, stipulates policies on investment, credit, insurance and tax incentives to support fishermen and ship owners who wish to build new fishing boats, upgrade existing boats and buy fishing and marine equipment, among others.

The provincial fishery sector has worked with relevant authorities and other coastal provinces to raise awareness among fishermen, putting an end to illegal fishing in foreign waters.

Vietnam received a “yellow-card” from the European Commission (EC) because of its failure to meet standards over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing last year, and the country has been offered the opportunity to take measures to rectify the situation within six months. The EU will assess Vietnam’s efforts to fight IUU fishing in April.

The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if issues are resolved or a "red card" if they are not. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

On December 13, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued Directive 45/CT-TTg on some urgent tasks and solutions following the EC’s warning.

To carry out the directive effectively, the province has intensified inspections over fishing activities, and taken strict punishment against violations of regulations on fishing and ship registrations and management.

In addition, Kien Giang has launched a project to improve the quality of product values, reducing losses as well as apply advanced technology to preserve products after harvest. It is also devising a project to inspect and re-arrange local fishing activities in Kien Giang’s waters.

The province boasts a fishing ground of more than 63,000 sq.km. Since the start of 2018, Kien Giang’s seafood output exceeded 90,000 tonnes, equivalent to 16 percent of the year’s plan and up 4.6 percent year-on-year. In 2017, the figure was above 548,000 tonnes, accounting for 20 percent of the country’s output.-VNA