(seafood.vasep.com.vn) On September 25th, 2017, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) held the Conference "Vietnam marine product companies commit to combating IUU". Attending the meeting, there were Mr. Tran Van Minh, Vice Chairman of The National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment; Ms. Nguyen Thi Le Thuy, Deputy Head of the National Assembly delegation in Ben Tre; Deputy Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) – Mr. Vu Van Tam as well as more than 100 representatives from MARD, sub-departments of Ba Ria Vung Tau province, Tien Giang province, marine product enterprises and the media.
Following the report "The program on marine product companies commit to combating IUU fishing", the “IUU Steering Committee under VASEP” was launched which consisted of 9 representatives from VASEP member enterprises.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, Vice Chairwoman of VASEP, Chairwoman of VASEP Marine Product Committee, on behalf of VASEP Marine Product Committee read the Press Statement "Vietnamese marine product companies are committed to combating IUU".
Deputy Minister of MARD, Mr. Vu Van Tam, and a number of leaders of state agencies and enterprises attended and shared their opinions at the conference. According to Mr. Vu Van Tam, the IUU issue is getting a lot of attention. Under the Government’s strong direction; MARD and VASEP have also taken urgent actions as advising the Government on the issuance of the telegram No. 732 on prevention, reduction and stopping of infringements by Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen regarding illegal fishing in foreign countries’ waters and chairmen of the provincial People's Committees will be responsible for the local illegal fishing vessels in other countries. This is the opportunity for state management agencies, fishermen community as well as seafood processors and exporters to take a deeper look into the issue and reorganize fishing activities in a sustainable and effective manner.
As of September 25th 2017, there have been 52 Vietnamese marine product enterprises joining in the program on commiting to combating IUU fishing. Accordingly, these enterprises commit to purchasing raw materials sourced from legal fishing vessels with clear traceability and only importing legally caught seafood; do not buy catches sourced from illegal fishing vessels operating without permit, logbook and report in accordance with regulations, or fishing with prohibited fishing gears; and say no to the protected species and catches with smaller size than the minimum size limits.
The conference also approved the operating regulations of the program “Marine product companies commit to combating IUU”, the action plan and proposed budget.
For the sustainable and long-term development of the fishing industry and the responsibility for the fisheries resources, enterprises at the conference agreed to undertake a commitment to combat IUU fishing through the action plans and fund for anti-IUU fishing activities.