According to the report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Standing Steering Committee, as of August 31, 2020, a number of fishing vessels nationwide with length of 15 meters or more has installed vessel monitoring equipment at the rate of 80.61%.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong emphasizes that after nearly 3 years of being warned by the EC with yellow card, thanks to strong and synchronous efforts of the political system, authorities from the central to the local, fishermen and businesses, Viet Nam has made a great progress in implementation of 4 groups of recommendations given by the EC.
Viet Nam established a National Steering Committee on Combating IUU fishing, promulgated decrees, circulars and other related legal documents. A number of drastic measures has been taken in fishing vessel registration, installation of vessel monitoring equipment, management of fishing port as well as re-organization of production, export processing and traceability. The control of illegal fishing in the Pacific has achieved significant results as well.
However, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong informed that although the European Commission has highly appreciated Vietnam's efforts in combating IUU fishing, the yellow card would not be removed by the EC if illegal fishing activities are not under control. Law enforcement has been strengthened, but the results achieved remains limited. Despite a number of illegal fishing cases has been in decrease compared to the same period of 2019, it is not fully controlled.
At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung assessed that in recent years, Viet Nam has closely coordinated with the EC in combating IUU fishing. At the same time, the ministries, local authorities have carried out effective solutions to fight against IUU fishing. Viet Nam has achieved remarkable progress in implementing the EC's recommendations. However, there have been short comings needed to be solved. Installation of vessel monitoring equipment for all fishing vessel and marking fishing vessels have not been yet completed. The control of catch, fishery products processed originating from fishing by foreign-flagged vessels entering the ports in Viet Nam has remained limited. Mechanism of law enforcement coordination among related agencies and units has not met given requirements. Therefore, he requested authorities at all levels to continue to have more appropriate, drastic and strong solutions to soon achieve requirements set up by the EC in order to remove the yellow card from Vietnamese fisheries, ensuring sustainability of results achieved.
Deputy Prime Minister suggested relevant ministries and sectors, local authorities of 28 coastal provinces and cities need to actively set up tasks and solutions with detail road-map and plan of implementation as well as regularly inspect and supervise results achieved. In particular, it is necessary to pay attention to and strengthen coordination between authorities according to functions and tasks assigned to combating IUU fishing, especially in dealing with IUU fishing cases. Communication and propaganda about results of the implementation against IUU fishing should be strengthened. Fishing vessels without relevant documents and equipment on board, especially vessel monitoring equipment, according to legal regulations must be not allowed to leave and entry ports.
The law enforcement authorities from the central to the local should concentrate their efforts on deploying drastic solutions to prevent and stop Viet Nam’s fishing vessels going on illegal fishing in foreign waters. In addition, these authorities should strengthen enforcement of regulations on combating IUU fishing in the Fisheries Law and other legal documents in reality, strictly implementation of sanctions according to regulations on illegal fishing in foreign waters.
Regarding the long-term solution, Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that it is necessary to re-structure of fisheries sector towards sustainability, of which, reduction in capture fisheries and increase in aquaculture, including marine aquaculture. He assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to strengthen working missions to inspect and urge local authorities to carry out actions of combating IUU fishing, promptly report results achieved to the Government, the National Steering Committee on combating IUU fishing. The People's Committees of coastal provinces and cities need to urgently complete the installation of vessel monitoring equipment, marking fishing vessels according to regulations, strengthen law enforcement, strictly handling violations of IUU fishing. Along with the efforts to remove the yellow card from Viet Nam's marine capture fisheries, it is necessary to ensure living standard and livelihoods of coastal community.
Nhật Anh (theo chinhphu.vn)