Negotiate to bring Vietnamese vessels fishing in Indonesia's EEZ (31-01-2024)

On the morning of January 24, 2024, the Department of Fisheries had an online meeting with representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to discuss bringing Vietnamese fishing vessels to exploit tuna in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.
Negotiate to bring Vietnamese vessels fishing in Indonesia's EEZ
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Tran Dinh Luan, Director of the Department of Fisheries

The meeting was chaired by Tran Dinh Luan, Director of the Department of Fisheries. Leaders from related professional units, including the Division of Capture Fisheries, the Division of Fishing Vessel Management and Fisheries Logistics Service Facility, the Division of Science, Technology, and International Cooperation, and the Fisheries Information Centre, also attended the conference. Mr. Tran Van Hao, Assistant to the Chairman of the Vietnam Tuna Association, attended online as well.

Potential tuna resources in Indonesia

Indonesia captures and exports the most tuna in the world, accounting for around 16% of total global tuna supply in 2021, with a catch of 791,000 tons valued at $1.47 billion.

The Directorate General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Surveillance (Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries - MMAF) has suggested sending Vietnamese fishing vessels to exploit tuna in Indonesian waters. As a result, this organization seeks to form joint ventures between Vietnamese seafood industries and Indonesian fishing businesses. Previously, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian MMAF on this matter.

At the start of the discussion, representatives from the Indonesian MMAF highlighted the potential of Indonesia's offshore resources and offered information on how Vietnamese fishing vessels can lawfully fish in Indonesia. A fishing license is issued for a 12-month period and can be renewed three months before it expires. Ice, fresh water, and gasoline are provided to Vietnamese fishing vessels both at sea and onshore. According to the agreement, the Indonesian side would set up administrative procedures to ensure that Vietnamese fishing vessels operate legally in Indonesian fishing grounds. Following the discussion, the Indonesian side will submit precise information in writing regarding some topics that require additional clarification.

The meeting took place online

Many issues need to be rectified

According to the Indonesian side, each fishing vessel now has a tuna catching quota of approximately 200 tons per year, with only 5 licenses issued. However, reality frequently falls short of that number. Furthermore, Vietnamese firms wishing to catch seafood in Indonesia's exclusive economic waters must invest in a seafood processing factory in an Indonesian location, with 80% of the total investment capital required.

According to Mr. Nguyen Tran Bien, a representative of PT Papua Fisheries Development Company in Indonesia, the most difficult aspect of Vietnamese firms investing in seafood processing plants in this nation is the issue of managing and processing administrative customs. "In addition to meeting the requirement of 80% investment capital for the processing plant, we have to deal with a large amount of paperwork and various administrative procedures to be granted a license," according to Mr. Bien.

And Mr. Pham Thanh Nhan, Director of Mai Loi Private Enterprise in Ben Tre, which manages 40 offshore fishing vessels, stated that while Indonesia has previously encouraged Vietnamese businesses to invest in factories and bring vessels to fish in the country's waters, it does not specify whether Vietnamese boats are permitted to net, strawl, twin strawl, and so on. So, ten years ago, Vietnamese enterprises could not be persuaded to invest.

The Indonesian side presented the potential of tuna resources

Faced with these issues, a representative of the Indonesian MMAF stated that the following laws are outlined in the country's 2004 fisheries law, which applies to numerous countries throughout the region. Because the two sides have just recently begun to cooperate, Indonesia and Vietnam will continue to negotiate in order to capitalize on each other's advantages in exploiting and processing seafood in Indonesian waters.

Once the Indonesian MMAF provides proper information, the Vietnamese Department of Fisheries will collaborate with firms in the fishing and seafood processing industries to develop a long-term collaboration project with Indonesia.

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