Fishermen of An Hai commune in Ly Son island district in the central province of Quang Ngai prepare for a fishing trip. (Source: VNA)

Quang Ngai (VNA) – The central province of Quang Ngai has set up two offices to monitor and inspect activities of fishing vessels at sea as part of local efforts to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The two offices are based at Tinh Ky fishing port (Tinh Ky commune) and Tinh Hoa port (Tinh Hoa commune in Quang Ngai city). The offices’ staff will conduct inspection of fishing vessels coming in or leaving the ports. The staff will also inspect and certify the origin of catches.

According to Duong Van To, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the department will set up inspection offices at all fishing ports in the province with the aim of preventing local ships from involving in illegal fishing and facilitating the management and certification of seafood origin in line with regulations.

In September 2017, the EC issued a yellow card warning Vietnam for failing to progress in fighting IUU fishing. The EC also proposed nine recommendations that Vietnam should implement. The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if the problem is resolved or a "red card" if it isn’t. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

The EU will assess Vietnam’s efforts to fight IUU fishing in April.

On December 13, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued Directive 45/CT-TTg on some urgent tasks and solutions following the EC’s warning.

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

There have been an array of urgent solutions, including supplementing anti-IUU fishing regulations to legal documents, enforcing the issued regulations, disseminating the solutions to fishermen and relevant parties, enhancing cooperation with coastal and island countries to prevent IUU fishing, and holding dialogues to update the EU on Vietnam’s efforts to improve fisheries management.

As a result, illegal fishing in foreign waters by Vietnamese boats has declined considerably, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said at the ministry’s regular press conference on March 2.-VNA