Vietnam’s border guards take tougher actions against IUU fishing

Vietnam’s Border Guard force has undertaken strong measures to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and prevent Vietnamese fishing boats from encroaching foreign waters over the last four years.

The move is part of the country’s concerted effort to soon remove the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” warning against its seafood products.

Among the measures, top priority has been given to educating fishermen and raising their awareness of IUU fishing and related regulations so as to heighten their sense of responsibility and stop them from illegally entering waters of other countries, Colonel Pham Xuan Dieu, Deputy Chief of Staff of the force, told the Vietnam News Agency.

The force has increased patrols and taken a tough hand on IUU fishing violations. Thanks to such efforts, 574 violators have been brought to light, with a total of 21.6 billion VND (948,531 USD) paid in administrative fines, Dieu said.

The force reported 33 violation cases, involving 51 vessels, in the first nine months of this year, down 7 cases and 12 vessels compared to the same period last year, he added.

The officer pointed out several reasons behind IUU fishing, such as declining marine resources in Vietnam’s waters and lack of legal knowledge among fishermen. There is also an increase in the number of those who arrange unlawful trips by Vietnamese fishing boats into foreign waters, he noted.

He urged for the introduction of stricter penalties against IUU fishing and the brokers; and for authorities to make a list of “high-risk” vessels to keep a close watch on them.

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