Vietnam to implement electronic traceability in a fish supply chain

In order to meet state management and market requirements, the Directorate of Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam) is implementing software and piloting of electronic traceability in seafood supply chain.

Vietnam to implement electronic traceability in a fish supply chain

Mr. Nguyen Quang Hung, Deputy Director of Directorate of Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), said: The traceability of fishery products is now a mandatory requirement of the market. Not only export markets but also domestic consumers need transparency in traceability.

According to Mr. Hung, Vietnam has deployed traceability of seafood for a long time. This is reflected in the 2003 Fisheries Law, which requires fishermen to keep records in fishing logbooks to serve the traceability of the caught fish. Next is the implementation of the Fisheries Law 2017, whereby Vietnam has implemented drastic and synchronous traceability of fisheries at designated fishing ports of 28 coastal provinces across the country.

“Currently, Vietnam has 57 fishing ports eligible for implementing catch statement and catch certification for fishing products. Vietnam has done a good job in  asking fishermen to keep records in their logbook during the fishing trips, as well as requiring transshipment ships to report on transshipment from fishing vessels. At fishing ports, there is a management board to verify seafood's origins. Regarding the fish middle agencies, seafood purchasing and processing companies, the local Fisheries Department will certify that seafood products before exporting to the markets, ”said Hung.

However, according to fishermen, paper-based recording on fishing boats is quite inconvenient, especially when the waves are high, the wind is wet, making the recording papers wet, making it difficult to complete the documents for the fishing consignment.

Regarding the above issue, Mr. Nguyen Quang Hung, also acknowledged that Vietnam fishery industry is still implementing traceability from paper documents, which will take time and not guarantee enough reliability, and not convenient in archiving of records.

Therefore, the deployment of electronic fishing logbooks, as well as traceability of seafood products on electronic means will improve the accuracy and convenience in copying, operating, and managing traceability records. To solve this problem, the Directorate of Fisheries is developing electronic traceability software and will pilot a number of localities such as Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen.

Next time, the Directorate of Fisheries will train fishermen as well as the fishing port management system, Fisheries Sub-Departments in 28 provinces. After the pilot, in the period of 2021 - 2023, the application of software for traceability of aquatic products will be deployed nationwide.

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