A conference highlighting the significance of marine protection in sustainable seafood development was held in the central province of Ninh Thuan on July 2.

The event aimed to review the five-year implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decision 742/QD-TTg approving plans for Vietnam’s marine conservation sites through 2020 and beyond.

Over the past five years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has coordinated with relevant ministries, departments and provincial People’s Committees to make detailed plans for eight of 16 marine conservation sites, of which Con Co, Cu Lao Cham, Nha Trang Bay, Hon Cau and Phu Quoc have gone into operation and shown initial success.

Meanwhile, three other sites – Cat Ba, Nui Chua, and Con Dao – are under effective management. The Bach Long Vi site, in particular, was established in 2013.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said the seafood sector plays a crucial role in the national economy and workers in coastal, sea and island areas.

The sector is facing a number of difficulties and challenges such as aquatic resource reductions and the degradation of marine ecology, he noted.

Domestic and foreign managers and scientists discussed sustainable fishing management in marine conservation sites.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for managing marine conservation and forest sites (according to the Law on Forest Protection and Development and the Law on Seafood).

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is accountable for supervising submerged land conservation sites (in accordance with the Law on Biodiversity).

The conference formed part of activities within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The MoU is to boost bilateral coordination in preserving global rare and valuable seafood and coastal, maritime ecological systems; evaluating the management efficacy of Vietnam’s marine conservation sites; completing legal frameworks for the Fund for Aquatic Resources Reproduction (VIFARR); and creating sustainable financial mechanisms for preserving and developing aquatic resources.-VNA