The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has ordered its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to get tougher on illegal fishing in foreign waters by local fishing ships and their owners.
The order was made by Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Ngoc Khanh during a February 23 conference to review local measures against the illegal practice under Resolution 12-NQ/TU issued by the provincial Party Committee’s Standing Board over the last two years.
Khanh requested to be provided with a list of ships involved in illegal fishing in foreign waters during 2019 – 2020 and tasked the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and relevant units with adopting stronger actions and sanctions for violators.
Awareness campaigns should be accelerated to educate fishermen and vessel owners that fishing in foreign waters without permission is against the law, he said.
Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Van Cuong reported that the number of local ships caught by foreign countries for illegally entering their foreign waters has declined sharply in recent time, with almost no case reported during August 2019 to March 2020.
Since 2019, provincial authorities have inspected and verified more than 129,620 vessel arrivals at and departures from local ports, he said.
According to the official, Ba Ria-Vung Tau has traced origins of catch products and strictly punished those committed to illegal fishing and trading and processing of these products. He added that the province has also cracked down on a number of gangs arranging illegal encroachment of fishing ships into foreign waters.
However, it remained common for ships catching fish in areas along the sea border and in overlapping areas, he continued. Only 86% of fishing boats have been installed with cruise monitoring devices, and the percentage is lower than the goal set by the government’s Decree 26/2019/ND-CP on measures to enforce the Law on Fisheries.