Fisherman provided with knowledge on fishing-related laws (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has issued a public dispatch ordering ministries and People’s Committees of 28 coastal provinces and centrally-run cities to further intensify measures to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The document acknowledged progress in the fight against IUU fishing thanks to implementation of the PM’s Directive 45/CT-TTg dated December 13, 2017 on urgent tasks and measures to respond to the EC’s warning about IUU fishing. It noted improvements in institutions and better awareness of fishermen and society in general about the IUU situation, while international cooperation with other countries and international organisations in fighting IUU practices has been strengthened.

Despite those outcomes, the dispatch stressed that the work has not met requirements, citing assessment of the EC delegation after a field survey in Vietnam from May 16-24 this year. The EC delegation said Vietnamese ships’ violations of foreign waters are still common, law enforcement on IUU practices is not strict enough, the credibility of certification of seafood is not high, and the system for monitoring fishing vessels has not met requirement.

To address existing shortcomings and prepare for a working session with a delegation of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries in October this year and the second inspection of the EC in early 2019, the PM listed urgent tasks for relevant ministries and authorities of 28 coastal provinces and cities in the dispatch.

Accordingly, the People’s Committees of coastal provinces and cities must accelerate the recovery of Movimar satellite geo-positioning devices installed in fishing vessels of below 24 metres in length for installation in those of 24 metres and over in length, and impose strict punishment on those ships which fail to operate the monitoring equipment around the clock as required.

The provinces and cities are required to further tighten the control of fishing vessels’ movement through ports along with vessels’ catches and fishing itineraries, and the verification and granting of certification for seafood origin in line with regulations.

Local authorities must hold patrols in waters under their management in order to timely detect and stop IUU fishing, and keep close monitoring of local fishing vessels on long fishing trips. They should coordinate and share information with other localities and relevant agencies for quick response to any IUU activity.

Meanwhile, the PM instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work out a plan for the establishment of a national steering committee for controlling IUU fishing.

The Defence Ministry should coordinate with relevant agencies to enhance inspection and supervision work at sea, particularly overlapping and disputed waters, and at fishing ports, while imposing stricter punishment of violations of anti-IUU rules.

The Finance Ministry is required to allocate funds to the system monitoring fishing vessels using Movimar technology during 2019-2020.

The PM also specified tasks for several other ministries in the dispatch.-VNA