Authorities in Local Areas Take Strict Action to Combat Illegal Fishing

In the last five years, Vietnam has made significant strides in its campaign to curb illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing following an EC yellow card warning on Vietnamese seafood exports.

Localities Strictly Monitor Vessels to Fight IUU fishing
Currently, 82.7% of the fishing vessels with a length of at least 6m have updated information on VNFishbase. Photo: KT

Implementing the EC’s recommendations, the agricultural sector will continue coordinating with localities to tighten the management of fishing vessels to ensure that they operate in the right areas, VietnamPlus reported.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase) has been implemented in 31 localities.

Currently, 82.7% of the fishing vessels with a length of at least 6m have updated information on VNFishbase, while 97.7% of ships of 15m or more in length have been installed with a vessel monitoring system (VMS).

According to the Director of Fisheries Information Centre under the Directorate of Fisheries Ha Le, in the first seven months of this year, the numbers of vessels staying uncontacted at sea for more than 6 hours daily and for more than 10 days tend to decrease compared to those of the same period last year.

Fishing vessels of Ninh Thuan (Photo: VNA)
Fishing vessels of Ninh Thuan. Photo: VNA

Localities have also been more active in handling administrative violations for ships that remain uncontacted for more than 10 days. However, the percentage of administrative punishments is still low, at about 5%.

Therefore, he suggested that localities step up communication, inspection and supervision, and strictly handle those violating regulations on VMS.

In order to closely monitor fishing vessels at sea, and to ensure effective preparations for the next visit of the fourth EC inspection delegation in October, Director of the Department of Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Nguyen Quang Hung proposed localities continue to strictly implement directives by the Prime Minister and the head of the National Steering Committee on IUU Fishing Prevention, and to arrange competent and responsible officials to perform the work.

Localities should take strong and resolute measures to prevent fishing vessels from illegally conducting fishing activities in foreign waters, strictly control those entering and leaving ports, monitor their output, and comply with product certification and traceability regulations.

Localities Strictly Monitor Vessels to Fight IUU fishing
Border guards of Ca Mau province examine a fishing vessel. Photo: VNA

At a press conference last month, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said Vietnam has a total of 86,820 fishing vessels with a VMS installation proportion of 97.65%.

The remaining boats are under a high risk of violation, he said, as cited by Vietnamnet, noting that competent agencies should impose strict measures to monitor the vessels.

Deputy Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Surveillance Duong Van Cuong informed that a working delegation of the EC is set to visit Vietnam in October to inspect the fight against IUU fishing for the fourth time.

From now to October, the National Steering Committee on IUU Fishing Prevention and Control will continue supervising the implementation of the EC’s recommendations on IUU fishing in localities and supporting them in this regard, he said.

Rosy Huong