Vietnam PM seeks action plan to curb illegal fishing

Fishermen transporting fish from boats in Tac Cau Port, Chau Thaanh District, the southern province of Kien Giang. — VNA/VNS

HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to build a 180-day action plan to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, as recommended by the European Commission (EC), and submit it to him and the Government for approval and implementation.

MARD, the Standing Board of the National Steering Committee on IUU Prevention and Control, was also ordered to deploy inter-sectoral inspection teams to coastal localities to examine the implementation of regulations against IUU fishing and give guidelines to settle problems, according to a Government Office’s notice based on the conclusions of PM Chính at a recent conference on IUU fishing.

The PM underlined that removing the “yellow card” against Vietnamese fishing exports by the EC would boost the sustainable development of the domestic fisheries sector, ensure the interests of the nation and people, improve the image of Vietnam in the world arena, and show the country is responsible in realising international commitments and conventions regarding the protection of maritime environments and ecosystems.

Along with improving the awareness of fishermen in preventing IUU fishing, ministries, sectors and localities must strictly implement the fisheries law, while adjusting and supplementing relevant regulations in a timely manner, the PM stressed.

He requested that the Ministry of National Defence coordinate with other ministries, sectors and coastal localities to end the violations of foreign waters by March 31, 2023.

The Ministry of Public Security was asked to thoroughly confront illegal fishing in foreign waters.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was directed to protect fishermen and bring them home, and finalise negotiations to complete the demarcation of sea borders between Vietnam and other countries.

The Ministry of Information and Communications was assigned to made known Vietnam's efforts against IUU fishing, while the Ministry of Planning and Investment was requested to allocate resources to ministries, sectors and localities to upgrade their fishing infrastructure, ports and boat shelters to support fishermen.

At the same time, the Ministry of Finance was asked to control imported aquatic products and provide capital to combat IUU fishing.

The Ministry of Science and Technology was requested to roll out technological and technical solutions to ensure the smooth operation of vessel monitoring systems.

Coastal localities were required to strengthen communications to encourage local fishermen to strictly abide by legal regulations on IUU fishing, improve the efficiency of controlling the origin of fishery products, and increase inspections to ensure that exporting activities of aquatic products do not violate regulations against IUU fishing.

They were also asked to organise local fishery surveillance forces as per Fisheries Law 2017 and relevant legal regulations.

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