Fishing boats of Vietnam at sea (Photo: VNA)

Tien Giang (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang held a meeting on February 1 to implement urgent measures to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in foreign waters.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Nghia said the provincial administration ordered relevant sectors such as the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Border Guard High Command, the Department of Public Security and the Department of Information and Communications along with localities to work closely to raise fishermen’s awareness of domestic policies on fishing and aquatic resources protection and relevant international regulations.

Authorised agencies were asked to seriously implement regulations on boat and fishing management and aquatic resources protection measures. They need to continue requesting owners or captains of offshore fishing boats to keep fishing records, report their fishing activities, and install vehicle monitoring devices.

Authorities of Tien Giang are set to increase examining the management of fishing boats and dealing with IUU fishing. They will also build a fisheries database system which includes information about fishing boats, sailors, and fishing output.

[PM approves national action plan to combat IUU fishing]

Fishing activities are mostly conducted by fishermen in the districts of Go Cong Dong, Go Cong Tay and Tan Phu Dong, Go Cong township, and My Tho city.

In 2017, tens of local fishing boats were arrested by foreign countries for IUU fishing.

Vietnam was served with a yellow card warning by the European Commission (EC) in September 2017 for failing to progress in fighting IUU fishing, and it has been offered the opportunity to take measures to rectify the situation within six months. 

To this end, the EC has proposed an action plan for the country. The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if issues are resolved or a "red card" if they aren’t. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

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.

Many coastal localities of Vietnam have also taken actions to end IUU fishing.-VNA