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Measures against IUU fishing to intensify

Released at: 07:52, 23/09/2018

Measures against IUU fishing to intensify

Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

PM calls for expanded efforts by ministries and localities over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

by Linh Chi

The Vietnam News Agency on September 21 quoted Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as ordering ministries and people’s committees in 28 coastal provinces and centrally-run cities to further intensify measures to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

According to the State-run news agency, a public dispatch, issued recently, acknowledged progress in the fight against IUU fishing thanks to the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 45/CT-TTg dated December 13, 2017 on urgent tasks and measures to respond to the EC’s warning about IUU fishing. It noted improvements in institutions and greater awareness among fishermen and society in general about IUU, while international cooperation with other countries and international organizations in fighting IUU practices has been strengthened.

Despite these outcomes, the dispatch stressed that work has not met requirements, citing an assessment by an EC delegation after a field survey in Vietnam from May 16 to 24 this year. The delegation said Vietnamese ships violating foreign waters is still common, law enforcement on IUU practices is not strict enough, the credibility of seafood certification is not high, and the system for monitoring fishing vessels has not met requirements.

To address existing shortcomings and prepare for a working session with a delegation from the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries in October and the second inspection by the EC in early 2019, the Prime Minister listed urgent tasks for relevant ministries and authorities in the 28 coastal cities and provinces.

People’s committees of coastal cities and provinces must accelerate the recovery of Movimar satellite geo-positioning devices installed in fishing vessels of less than 24 meters in length for installation in those of 24 meters or more in length, and impose strict punishment on those ships that fail to operate monitoring equipment around the clock as required.

The cities and provinces are required to further tighten the control of fishing vessels’ movements through ports along with their catch and fishing itineraries and the verification and granting of certification for seafood origin in line with regulations.

Local authorities must conduct patrols in waters under their management in order to timely detect and stop IUU fishing and continue the close monitoring of local fishing vessels on long trips. They should also coordinate and share information with other localities and relevant agencies for a quick response to any IUU activity.

The Prime Minister also instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work out a plan for the establishment of a national steering committee for controlling IUU fishing.

The Ministry of Defense should coordinate with relevant agencies to enhance inspection and supervision tasks at sea, particularly in overlapping and disputed waters, and at fishing ports, while imposing stricter punishment on any violation of anti-IUU rules.

The Ministry of Finance is required to allocate funds to the system for monitoring fishing vessels using Movimar technology during 2019-2020.

The Prime Minister also specified tasks for several other ministries in the dispatch.

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