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Combat IUU in Vietnam: 6 amendments to the Fisheries Law and 8 tasks to implement immediately
September 14, 2017, 04:45 PM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) On Sep 11th 2017, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam – Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Deputy Minister of MARD– Mr. Vu Van Tam and leaders of MARD, and leaders of Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) had a meeting with Ambassador Bruno Angelet, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam and EU Trade Counselors in Vietnam with an aim to discussing and sharing information on the implementation of EU’s recommendations on combating IUU fishing in Vietnam.

After listening to the information shared by the EU ambassador on EU’s recommendations on IUU fishing, Deputy Minister - Mr. Vu Van Tam had a report on Vietnam's efforts in implementing 5 groups of issues that EU recommended.

At the meeting, the Minister – Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong affirmed that Vietnam is making efforts to approach the recommendations on IUU for the progress of the world fisheries, including Vietnam fisheries.

In terms of legal institutions, the Minister affirmed that EU’s recommendations are very useful to include in the revised Fisheries Law. Accordingly, there are 6 contents that must be resolutely included in the revised Fisheries Law, including:

1. Assess fish stocks by implementing survey every 5 years in combination to the appropriate fishing plan as recommended by the EU.

2. Establish Fisheries Surveillance Force in the Central and 28 provinces and cities to control fisheries activities on sea (control of vessels arriving or going offshore).

3. Continue to affirm the marine protected areas and aquatic conservation areas, united with the National Assembly members so that MARD can control to protect marine resources.

4. Apply the highest penalty related to IUU fishing activities in the Fisheries Law. The details will depend on the decree after the Law is approved.

5. The Law stipulates that vessel licensing must be based on investigated stocks, to allow vessels to be licensed in each province to control the number of vessels.

6. Introduce a new institution: establish a Fund for Fisheries Resources Protection at the central and provincial levels so that the Fund will be contributed every year to recovering biodiversity as well as marine resources.

In order to express the determination of MARD in line with the EU recommendations on IUU, towards sustainable fisheries, the Minister decided to focus immediately on 8 tasks:

1. Review the decision to set up the task force 689 to advise the Prime Minister on the mandate of 28 provincial chairmen who must control and not allow fishermen to fish illegally at foreign waters. The Steering Committee will petition the Prime Minister to direct a Deputy Prime Minister to take part in this issue.

2. The project of Sustainable Management of Marine Development will be soon completed so that in September 2017, MARD will submit to the Prime Minister.

3. Review and evaluate 3,000 vessels equipped with information positioning device and after the  review, there will be a detailed plan on the solution for the vessels equipped with information positioning device to control vessels and not to let them go outside the controlled area.

4. Focus on the Ocean Fishing Project, as there are still a number of countries that want Vietnam to cooperate with them officially to fish and solve the labor and the jobs; Push the Project in September and submit to the Prime Minister for approval in the early October 2017.

5. Review the fisheries infrastructure to assess and petition to the government for its step by step support.

6. Build up livelihoods for fishermen and reduce the number of fishermen participating in fishing. There is a marine aquaculture planning program to reduce fishing activities. In addition, the MARD is focusing on cultivation and animal husbandry programs to shift a number of fishermen to work on land.

7. Join regional and international organizations in fisheries.

8. Focus more on propaganda and training for fishermen.

At this meeting, the Minister – Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong and Ambassador – Mr. Bruno Angelet agreed every six-month to jointly review the efforts and results that Vietnam has made in improving marine fishing activities following EU recommendations. With such efforts and determination, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and seafood enterprises expect Vietnam will avoid getting the yellow card from the EU.

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