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Combat IUU Fishing
European Parliament delegation expresses appreciation for Vietnam's efforts against IUU fishing
November 09, 2018, 07:55 AM
Fisheries Committee MEPs visited Hanoi and Vietnamese coastal provinces last week, to look into Vietnam's efforts in fighting illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

The seven member delegation led by Gabriel Mato (EPP, ES), which also included MEPs Ricardo Serrao Santos (S&D, PT), Antonio Marinho e Pinto (ALDE, PT), Ulrike Rodust (S&D, DE), Jens Gieseke (EPP, DE), Veronica Lope Fontagné (EPP, ES) and Sylvie Goddyn (EFDD, FR), held a number of high-level meetings with the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Government Ministers, the Vice President of the National Assembly, parliamentarians and relevant Vietnamese authorities, who spared no effort in welcoming the EP delegation and present the newly adopted legislation and enforcement measures. MEPs also met other stakeholders, such as the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Other companies and fishermen associations provided the Members with first-hand information on the challenges and constraints of the Vietnamese fisheries and aquaculture sector.

The delegation expressed its appreciation for the open and frank exchanges with their counterparts and the constructive cooperation. A number of significant improvements of the Vietnamese fisheries legislation could undoubtedly boost Vietnam's ability to tackle and deter IUU fishing activities in its waters. The EP Members also witnessed new monitoring, inspection and control infrastructures and facilities such as the Fisheries Monitoring Centre in Hanoi and the Ports in Quy Nhon and Haiphong that, together with the new infrastructure in place, can positively impact Vietnam's ability to comply with its international obligations in the fight against IUU fishing. Members also welcomed the White Book on Combating IUU Fishing in Vietnam adopted by VASEP membership.

The Members referred to the challenges faced by Vietnam regarding the overcapacity and overexploitation of resources that are stimulated by increasing supply needs of the fast-developing processing sector. This, together with the weak control policy, have displaced the fishing effort beyond the Vietnamese waters, where Vietnamese authorities do not have the legal means and the resources to control fishing activities. Also regarding monitoring, control and surveillance, as well as the management of the fleet, it is still extremely weak and fragmented, and traceability of fisheries products is not influencing the efficacy of the catch certification scheme for exports to the EU.

The Members recognised Vietnam’s political efforts in the commitment to tackle IUU fisheries and underlined that Vietnam should devote enough human and financial resources for this purpose. In this context, the delegation underlined the importance of the EU-Vietnam FTA that clearly provides for cooperation between both sides in the fight against IUU fishing under its Trade Sustainable Development Chapter.

"For Vietnam and the EU it is paramount to continue with this open and constructive dialogue in order to successfully address the global challenges posed by illegal fishing. The new fisheries legal framework and implementing regulations currently being developed is a first step in the right direction and we strongly encourage Vietnam to continue along this path”, Members pointed out.

Contact: VASEP Task Force for IUU - Email: combat_iuu@vasep.com.vn
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