Ministry keeps urging installation of vessel monitoring systems

As many as 23,623 fishing boats or 77.1% of those at least 15 metres long nationwide had been equipped with vessel monitoring systems (VMS) as of June 22, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).


Fishing boats docking in Dam Nai (Nai Lagoon) of Ninh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province

The figure included 2,388 vessels at least 24 metres long (91.9%), and 31,235 between 15 metres and less than 24 metres long (71.7%).

Meanwhile, some localities have not regularly updated data on fishing registration and licencing on the national fisheries database system VNFishbase, according to the MARD.

Given this, the ministry has requested the People’s Committees of coastal provinces and cities to update their data on VNFishbase, step up the installation of VMS on local fishing boats, and report on the operation of VMS.

On March 5, the MARD also sent a document urging localities to ramp up performing the tasks.

Under the Government’s Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP, dated March 8, 2019, VMS must be installed for all fishing vessels at least 24 metres long before July 1, 2019; and for boats between 15 metres and less than 24 metres long before April 1, 2020. In particular, the installation must be completed for trawlers and tuna fishing boats between 15 metres and less than 24 metres long before January 1 this year.

Vietnam is augmenting efforts to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing so as to persuade the European Commission (EC) to remove the “yellow card” warning, which was issued in October 2017 as the country had failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the battle against IUU fishing.

Countries that fail to meet EC standards are given a "yellow card", followed by a "green card" if the problems are resolved, or a "red card" if they are not. A red card can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.