Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has been advised to combine fishing activities with the protection of aquatic resources, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam.

At a meeting with representatives of Kien Giang on July 19, Tam suggested the locality shift its traditional livelihood of standard net fishing to more sustainable methods, such as developing fish farms and offshore aquaculture.

He urged Kien Giang to make substantial efforts to raise the awareness of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing amongst boat owners, captains, and fishermen, as well as increasing the responsibility of agencies and local authorities in this regard.

Competent agencies need to closely monitor the operation of fishing boats, step up patrols at sea – especially at bordering and overlapping waters – and strictly punish fishing boats that enter foreign waters while fishing, the official said.

Kien Giang has a coastline of 200km, with 143 islands. The province boasts a fishing ground of more than 63,000sq.km.

In May, the province announced a list of eight vessels and their owners which had engaged in illegal fishing activities in foreign waters since the beginning of 2018.

The move is part of Kien Giang’s efforts to implement the Government’s Direction No.45 on actions in response to the European Commission’s (EC) yellow card warning over IUU fishing, which was issued to Vietnam on October 23 last year.

In the first three months 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 total output. -VNA