Vietnam pushes drastic measures to fight IUU fishing hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has demanded that coastal cities and provinces deploy drastic and synchronous measures to prevent illegal fishing in foreign waters.

Fishing boats that fail to switch on the monitor device should be strictly punished, said the official at a teleconference in Hanoi on August 3 to review the implementation of Directive No. 45/CT-TTg on a number of urgent tasks to deal with the European Commission (EC)’s warning on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Along with closely inspecting fishing activities, another important task is to create more jobs for fishermen, he noted. One of the key solutions to this issue is to develop industry and services as part of the coastal economy, along with providing occupational training for coastal population to facilitate their switch to other jobs, thus lessening the pressure on fishing.

The EC’s “yellow card” poses a high risk to Vietnam’s seafood export to the European Union and other foreign markets, and subsequently adversely impacts local people’s production and lives, Deputy PM Dung said.

“If no solutions are taken, the incident would directly affect the seafood sector, the lives and income of fishermen, the development of the national maritime economy, and Vietnam’s image and prestige in the world,” Dung emphasised.

He, therefore, urged the Government, ministries, agencies and localities to quickly implement measures to have the warning removed. In the long run, such measures will also serve the re-organisation of fishing activities for sustainable development, including serious observance of international rules on fishing.

In October 23, 2017, the EC issued a “yellow card” warning to Vietnam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing.

A working delegation from the EC’s General Directorate for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries visited Vietnam from May 16-24 to inspect the country’s implementation of the EC’s nine recommendations related to the fight against IUU fishing.

 The nine recommendations included revisions to the legal framework to ensure compliance with international and regional rules, applicable to the conservation and management of fisheries resources; ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of the country’s revised laws; and strengthening the effective implementation of international rules and management measures.

 The EC inspectors will return to Vietnam in January 2019 to review the country’s progress in addressing its “yellow card” warnings. -VNA