Organisations, individuals involved in IUU fishing to be punished strictly

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on June 7 sent a document to the Chairpersons of the People's Committees of coastal provinces and cities on strictly handling organisations and individuals that let fishing vessels violate foreign waters for illegal fishing.

Provinces and cities have to complete the installation of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) on fishing vessels as regulated, and strictly punish vessels that do not equip, or maintain operation of VMSs or disable or remove them during operation at sea. Those supplying low-quality systems will also be handled strictly.

It is necessary to allocate people on duty around the clock to monitor the journey, and timely detect and address illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in foreign waters.

The ministry also stressed the importance of disseminating regulations on IUU fishing prevention to ship owners, captains and fishermen.

It said that in the first months of 2021, some Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen still violated foreign waters, affecting the image and reputation of Vietnam, especially the country’s efforts to remove the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card”.

In October 2017, Vietnam received a “yellow card” warning for illegal seafood exploitation by the EC, which has seriously hit seafood exports to the European market.

The EC also said that they will not withdraw the yellow card if Vietnam has not solved the problem of fishing in foreign waters.

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