Urgent measures taken to respond to EU’s warning on IUU fishing hinh anh 1Vietnam is taking measures in response to EU's warning on IUU fishing (Source: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA)
– The Directorate of Fisheries (DoF) held a national conference in the central coastal city of Da Nang on December 15 to push urgent measures to counter the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, head of the DoF Department for Science, Technology and International Cooperation, said that right after the EC announced a yellow card for Vietnam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) worked with related ministries and agencies to implement drastic measures to effectively carry out the EC’s recommendations in six months from October 23, 2017 to April 23, 2018, so that the warning can be removed.

The DoF itself has also taken numerous measures in response to the EC’s warning on IUU fishing, Dung stated, adding that the Philippines shared its experience in regaining the EC’s “green card” within the framework of a bilateral fisheries meeting between Vietnam and the Philippines on November 20-21.

Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Nguyen Thi Thu Sac said that the European Union is currently the second biggest importer of Vietnamese aquatic products, following the US.

Therefore, being served with a yellow card will have negative impact on the export of aquatic products to the EU and subsequently the US and other potential markets, she stressed.

To regain the green card, VASEP has kept contact with the MARD and the EU Delegation to Vietnam to deal with shortcomings of the country’s fisheries sector. The association also holds regular meetings with its members to update information for them and help them feel secured in exporting aquatic products to the EU, she added.

The MARD is also implementing urgent solutions in response to the EU’s warning on IUU fishing with the focus on drafting a decree guiding the enforcement of the 2017 Law on Fisheries and submitting a new document replacing Decree No.103/2013/ND-CP and Decree No.41/2017/ND-CP  on administrative fines in fishing activities.

According to MARD statistics, after Vietnam was issued with a yellow card, 16 fishing vessels with 118 fishermen continued violating foreign waters and were arrested.

Therefore, the ministry asked 28 coastal localities to strictly follow the Prime Minister’s dispatch and directive related to IUU fishing, intensify inspections and investigations on IUU fishing to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing on foreign waters.

Vietnam was served with a yellow card warning by the EU in September 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 are not. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.-VNA