Vietnam makes progress in fight against IUU fishing

The European Commission (EC) has made positive assessment of Vietnam’s fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing following two inspections in the past over three years since EC imposed a “yellow card” on Vietnam’s export of aquatic products to Europe.

Vietnam has continued to intensify its supervision of fishing activities towards having the yellow card removed.

In the first nine months of last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) assigned the task of updating and using the Vnfishbase software to 28 coastal cities and provinces, said the Directorate of Fisheries.

The Directorate of Fisheries also established a team to conduct surprise inspections of the management of fishing vessels and fishing activities as well as the update of data on the software in several localities.

It was found that there had been cases when fishing vessels were cut off from the monitoring system. Localities attributed the problem to connection cut due to delays in paying satellite fees, technical errors and unknown causes.

Director of the Ca Mau provincial Department of Information and Communications Tran Quoc Chinh said the number of local fishing vessels committing illegal fishing in foreign waters has reduced year after year thanks to the intensified inspection and communication activities.

Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers Nguyen Thi Thu Sac said since the “yellow card” was imposed on Vietnam’s aquatic products, export to the European market has dropped by 30%.

The Government has taken legal measures against vessels that violate the Law on Fisheries 2017, with some even facing a fine of up to VND2 billion (US$86,000).

Sac said the EU is a very important market for Vietnam, and stressed that businesses and fishermen must join hands with the Government to have the yellow card removed.