The docking area for fishing boats in An Hai commune of Ly Son district, Quang Ngai province (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ngai (VNA) –
The central coastal province of Quang Ngai has deployed tough measures to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in foreign waters, especially after the European Commission (EC) issued a “yellow card” warning to the country’s fishery sector.

Besides increasing communication campaigns for fishermen in coastal districts and communes, the province has enhanced surveillance of offshore fishing boats and will revoke operation licences of violating fishermen and vessels.

Criminal punishment will be applied if ship owners deliberately repeat violations.

Le Bang, a fisherman from Tinh Khe commune, Quang Ngai city, said fishermen should catch fish in Vietnamese waters, adding that they will lose all their property if arrested in foreign waters.

Nguyen Quoc Chinh, Chairman of An Hai fishery trade union in Ly Son island district, said his union has raised fishermen’s awareness about the serious consequences of fishing illegally in foreign waters, including inspections on all of their aquatic products and even bans from exporting.

Meanwhile, deputy head of the local seafood department Phung Dinh Toan said the department has promulgated regulations of the Law on Fisheries 2017 for fishermen.

The EC issued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam in September 2017 after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing.

On December 13, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive on some urgent tasks following the EC’s warning.

The whole political system, from the central to local level, and fishermen of Vietnam have taken actions to fight IUU fishing.

There have been an array of measures, including supplementing anti-IUU fishing regulations, enforcing issued regulations, disseminating solutions to fishermen and relevant parties and enhancing cooperation with coastal and island countries to prevent IUU fishing.-VNA