The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is striving to end illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) in 2021, as part of the country’s common efforts for the European Commission’s removal of the “yellow card” on Vietnamese fisheries sector.
According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lam Minh Thanh, who is also head of the Kien Giang Steering Committee for IUU fight, the locality has defined major tasks and solutions in the field, including the installation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) on 100% of fishing boats having length from 15m and more to supervise their operations at sea.
The province is trying to complete procedures early to give support for VMS users in paying fees for satellite communication services, he said.
Local authorised agencies have kept close supervision of the volume of aquatic products transported through ports, while reviewing the fishing port system to ensure that they meet requirements for operation in line with the regulations, and informing fishing boats’ owners about support policies for fishermen who unload seafood in the designated port along with accompanied benefits when they do so.
At the same time, the province has allocated resources, including personnel and capital to IUU prevention and combat, while strengthening sea patrol and strictly handing violations.
The provincial Department of Information and Communications has been assigned to coordinate with relevant organisations, agencies and localities to conduct communication campaigns on the IUU combat through diverse forms, said Thanh.
At the same time, the Kien Giang Border Guard High Command has swiftly acted to handle violations by fishing vessels in foreign waters. The public security force has investigated and settled cases involving the organisation for fishermen to conduct illegal fishing in foreign waters.
Kien Giang is one of the 28 coastal localities of Vietnam. So far, the province has installed VMS on 99 percent of local fishing vessels.
In 2019 and 2020, Kien Giang handled 41 violation cases with fine of more than VND31 billion (over US$1.36 million), seizing 45 fishing boats and removing the status of captains of fishing ships committing IUU. In the first months of 2021, 22 violation cases involving 30 fishing boats were discovered and handled.