Vietnam’s action compaign

Bac Lieu working hard to fight illegal fishing
07:59 03/01/2021

The European Commission (EC) has made positive assessment of Vietnam’s fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing following two inspections in the past over three years since EC imposed a “yellow card” on Vietnam’s export of aquatic products to Europe.

(seafood.vasep.com.vn) In order to contribute to raising awareness of seafood processing enterprises, fishing vessel owners and the fishing community about the importance and principles of not using child labor, prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), towards building sustainable fisheries, VASEP has cooperated with the Directorate of Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) and International Labor Organization in Vietnam (ILO Vietnam) carrying out many propaganda activities.

Removing the European Commission (EC)’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing “yellow card” is not easy and cannot be done overnight, but the Vietnamese business community and associations are still determined to do, not only to meet EU requirements, but also for the sake of sustainable fishery development.

Vice Chairman of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Rubén Saornil Mínguez recently appreciated efforts by the Vietnamese Government, businesses and fishermen in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing following the European Commission (EC)’s recommendations.

Vietnam has been taking various measures across its provinces in order to fight IUU fishing so that it can have the yellow card that it still holds from the EU removed.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường has urged 28 coastal provinces to promote further actions against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

After 2 years of EU’s warning of yellow card for Vietnam's caught marine products, Vietnam's marine product export to EU market has been remarkably affected, down 6.5% to nearly 390 million USD in 2018 and continued to level off in the first 8 months of 2019 with 251 million USD. From the second position in Vietnam's seafood import markets, after the yellow card, the EU has dropped to fifth and the proportion of the market has decreased from 18% to 13%.

(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Fishermen participate in fishing teams and fleets that are associated with enterprises. This is the value chain in fishing and consumption.

Offshore fishing vessels have been told to closely follow Vietnamese and international fishing regulations to help remove the European Commission's yellow card – a warning given to nations at risk of being deemed uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

In the continued efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishery (IUU) globally, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will launch the EU’s first IT tool, called “CATCH”, conceived to streamline the checks of seafood products entering the EU market.

(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the Decision 596/QĐ-TTg on the establishment of the National Steering Committee on combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.

On October 23, 2017, the EC officially issued a “yellow-card” warning for Vietnam’s seafood exports to the EU market. The EC also proposed nine recommendations that Vietnam should immediately implement in six months (from October 23, 2017 to April 23, 2018). The “yellow card” is followed by a “green card” if the problem is resolved or a “red card” if it isn’t. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

The tides wait for no one. Southeast Asia fishers live this truth daily and know that their catches are in decline, particularly for those leading hardscrabble lives casting their nets close to shore. The perils for these fishermen are well-documented and include clashes with other commercial trawlers, resource depletion, water pollution, and limitations in catch traceability, along with dangerous labor conditions.

The threat of a bad report card from the European Union has alarmed the more than 30,000 Vietnamese commercial traditional trawlers considered at risk of being deemed uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. With EU officials expected to return to Vietnam next week for a reassessment of Vietnam’s violations, the fishing industry has been fast-tracking measures to correct its marine practices. In the process, Vietnam may become a model for ASEAN countries.

Vietnam is pushing to implement recommendations from the European Commission in advance of a new round of inspections that the country’s leaders hope will lead to the elimination of a warning label it received from the commission last year.


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