Combat IUU Fishing

Vietnam to implement electronic traceability in a fish supply chain
15:12 14/01/2021

With the average seafood import demand of 4.1-4.5 billion USD/year, Vietnam seafood has great room to increase exports to the UK market thanks to the push from the UKVFTA Free Trade Agreement.

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.

Relations between the EU and some ASEAN member states have been tense in recent years because of the seafood trade, stemming from the European Commission’s (EC) sanctions related to the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. As Chair of ASEAN 2020, Vietnam hopes to promote cooperation among ASEAN member states and address this issue to actively contribute towards better ASEAN-EU trade relations.

On March 08, 2019, the Government promulgates the Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP on providing guidelines for implementation of the Law on Fisheries.

On December 25, 2018, the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development promulgated the Circular No. 36/2018/TT-BNNPTNT on amendments to the Circular No. 26/2016/TT-BNNPTNT dated June 30, 2016 by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on quarantine of aquatic animals and products thereof.

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) According to Mathew Camilleri, Senior Fishery Officer at the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “IUU fishing, within the context of the IPOA-IUU, includes:

(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.

Here is VASEP and Vietnam marine product enterprises’ activities to combat IUU fishing. The schedule is updated in June 2019.

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.


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