Stronger measures needed to combat IUU fishing: Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung urged stronger and more drastic and appropriate measures to early complete all recommendations by the European Commission (EC) so as to remove its yellow card warning over illegal and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Addressing the fourth session of the National Steering Committee for IUU Prevention on September 8, Dung said that Vietnam has coordinated closely with the EC in fighting IUU fishing and achieved many progresses in enforcing EC recommendations.

However, this is not enough, Dung stressed, pointing to the slow implementation in several localities.

He assigned the Ministry of National Defence to continue intensifying patrols at overlapping and undefined waters between Vietnam and other countries.

The Ministry of Public Security was requested to strictly investigate cases related to bringing Vietnamese fishing vessels to operate illegally in other countries’ waters, and strengthen international cooperation in this field.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry was asked to speed up negotiations towards the signing of agreements on delimitation of special economic zones between Vietnam and other countries, and exert efforts to ensure legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen when they are arrested illegally by foreign authorised forces.

For the long-term solution, the Deputy PM stressed the need of reducing exploitation and increasing aquaculture.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that after nearly three years receiving the yellow card warning, Vietnam has finished a large volume of works recommended by the EC, with the national steering committee set up and a number of related decrees, circulars and legal documents issued.

The number of Vietnamese fishing boats seized by foreign forces in the first eight months of 2020 decreased, and 80.61% of vessels with a length of 15m or more had been equipped with the vessel monitoring systems as of August 31.

According to the minister, the EC acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts, but noted that there remain fishermen violating foreign fishing zones.

If violations continue, the commission will not withdraw its yellow card, he added.