Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Twenty-eight coastal cities and provinces nationwide must mobilise resources in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, a move that helps convince the European Commission to remove a yellow card warning on Vietnamese seafood, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said on June 21.

“If we are not able to have the yellow card lifted or even red carded, our seafood industry will face critical losses, thus affecting the economy and local livelihoods”, he said at the National Committee on IUU fishing’s meeting in Hanoi.

Dung ordered localities to closely work with the Ministry of Defence to prevent Vietnamese fishermen illegally fishing in foreign waters, and hand out severe punishment to any violating individuals and organisations.

He urged the installation of cruise monitoring equipment on offshore fishing vessels in line with the set progress, while laying stress on the necessity to improve capacity of relevant authorities in controlling fish quantity at ports, and tracing origins of seafood products.

The Ministry of Finance should arrange capital for the equipment installation, and infrastructure rent to supervise fishing vessels in accordance with the Government’s Decree No.26/2018/ND-CP, he said, adding that the Ministry of Defence is in charge of ending illegal fishing of Vietnamese fishing boats in other countries’ waters.

The EC’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries delegation will visit Vietnam in October to inspect the country’s implementation of its recommendations related to the fight against IUU fishing.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries, the ministry has enhance cooperation with the defence ministry to promote law enforcement in overlapping and disputed waters, and give timely support to fishing vessels which are illegally captured.

Movimar satellite technology has been applied to monitor fishing boats’ cruise; however installation of the equipment has lagged behind the set plan, said Director General of the Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Ngoc Oai.

In addition, as localities do not see the fight against IUU fishing as an urgent task, they have not updated information about registered fishing vessels to the boat management database.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the number of fishing violation cases is on the rise, with most of them taking pace in the waters of Indonesia and Malaysia.-VNA