Vietnam won’t tolerate IUU fishing: MARD hinh anh 1Fishing boats of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam will never tolerate or permit activities related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Vu Van Tam has said.

Tam shared his opinion on November 11 after receiving information that a foreign fishing vessel had violated IUU fishing regulations and was suspected to have docked in Vietnam.

He said MARD assigned relevant agencies, especially the Directorate of Fisheries and the Department of Animal Health, to verify this information and report to the ministry this week.

“If violations are detected, the cases shall be strictly handled,” he said.

"Vietnam is being warned by the EU of being issued yellow cards on IUU, so we will have to do our best to overcome this problem," he added.

Countries that fail to meet European Commission standards on fighting against IUU fishing are issued a yellow card, which is considered a warning and offers Vietnam 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.

Tam said the Government and MARD had directed relevant ministries to fight against IUU fishing, making it clear Vietnam would not tolerate or allow illegal fishing activities.

[Vietnam seafood mulls action on EU warning]

To go along with the international community to stop the IUU fishing, Vietnam is concentrating on implementing many solutions through which it will put the fight against IUU fishing into the revised Fisheries Law and build a national action plan to prevent, minimise and eliminate IUU fishing until 2025.

The Prime Minister has also sent a message on preventing, minimising and stopping illegal fishing vessels and Vietnamese fishermen from fishing in foreign waters. Through these activities, Vietnam hopes the EU will lift the yellow card soon.

In addition, the community of seafood exporters in Vietnam also expressed its determination through its commitment to combat IUU fishing. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), 62 enterprises have committed to purchasing and importing seafood from legal fishing vessels with clear origin.

They will not buy seafood of fishing vessels caught illegally or exploited without a permit, without fishing diary, not reported as regulated and exploited with prohibited fishing tools. At the same time, they will say no to rare species of seafood and catch products that are smaller than those permitted.

Earlier, at a meeting with VASEP and businesses held on November 9 in HCM City, First Counselor of Trade and Economic Affairs of the EU Delegation in Vietnam Miriam Garcia Ferrer provided information on an IUU fishing vessel that was suspected to have landed in Vietnam.

Shortly after receiving this information, deputy secretary general of VASEP Nguyen Hoai Nam said the association would verify the information from relevant sectors.-VNA