The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre recently held three training courses to raise public awareness of the necessity to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap, local authorities have worked hard on the monitoring and inspection of fishing activities at sea as part of efforts to tackle the European Commission's IUU “yellow card”.
The local agriculture sector has examined regulations on the management of fishing ships, tightened the management of shipbuilding enterprises and issued rules on technical dossiers for the registration of fishing ships.
The efficiency of inspection offices at fishing ports will also be improved, towards stopping local ships from fishing illegally, and facilitating the certification of seafood origin, Lap said.
Communication work will be enhanced to popularise laws via various forms, he added.
Nguyen Van Buoi, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said the locality would continue equipping modern long-distance communication devices on offshore fishing boats.
Vietnam was served with a yellow card warning by the EU in September for failing to progress in fighting IUU fishing and has been offered the opportunity to rectify the situation within six months.
The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if issues are resolved or a "red card" if they aren’t. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.
The EU plans to assess Vietnam’s efforts to fight IUU fishing in April.
On December 13, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued Directive 45/CT-TTg on urgent tasks following the warning.
The whole political system, from the central to local level, and fishermen of Vietnam have taken actions to combat IUU fishing.
There have been an array of solutions, including supplementing anti-IUU fishing regulations to legal documents, enforcing issued regulations, disseminating solutions to fishermen and relevant parties, enhancing cooperation with coastal and island countries to prevent IUU fishing and holding dialogues to update the EU on Vietnam’s efforts to improve fisheries management.
As a result, illegal fishing in foreign waters by Vietnamese boats has declined considerably, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at a press conference in March.