By 2025, Vietnam will prevent, deter and eliminate all illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities so as to lift the “yellow card” imposed by the European Commission on the country’s seafood industry, according to the Scheme on IUU fishing prevention and control through 2025 approved by the Prime Minister under Decision 1077/QD-TTg.
|A fishing vessel of Quang Nam province’s fishermen sets off__Photo: VNA|
The Scheme is expected to help better manage fishing activities, protect marine resources and ecosystems and develop Vietnam’s fisheries in a sustainable and responsible manner, contributing to improving the people’s livelihood in coastal areas, ensuring national security and defense and safeguarding the national sovereignty over seas and islands.
The Scheme sets the target that all fishing vessels with the length overall of 15 meters or more will have sufficient documents and equipment for official inspection before leaving ports for offshore fishing, and be monitored through the Fishing Vessel Journey Monitoring System when participating in activities at sea and submitting to inspection when entering ports.
In addition, aquatic resources exploited through domestic fishing will be inspected and supervised when being loaded onto and unloaded from fishing ports under regulations, while all aquatic products from foreign fishing vessels arriving at Vietnamese ports must be inspected and supervised in line with the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In order to achieve the above targets, the Scheme sets forth several tasks and solutions, including disseminating information about IUU fishing prevention and control; improving the legal framework, mechanisms and policies thereon; and investing in upgrading and completion of fisheries infrastructure and consolidation of organizational apparatus and building of capacity of fishing port authorities.
It is also required to raise the capacity and effectiveness of patrol, inspection and control at sea; handle IUU fishing; trace origin of aquatic products; and perform obligations under treaties.
The Scheme sets tasks of intensifying inspection and control of conditions on fishing vessels upon their departure from ports, particularly those with high risk of violating IUU fishing; resolutely preventing and handling violations of fishing vessels that are ineligible for marine exploitation; refusing to permit docking under regulations in case fishing vessels fail to submit fishing reports and logs; and controlling the entire fishery output unloaded at fishing ports under regulations on IUU fishing.
Under the Scheme, law enforcement forces at sea, including the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance, Coast Guard, People’s Navy, Border Guard, and fisheries inspection bodies, are tasked to intensify patrol, inspection and control in maritime zones, especially contiguous, disputed or undemarcated waters, in order to promptly detect, prevent and handle Vietnamese fishing vessels illegally fishing in foreign waters, and resolutely fight foreign forces that illegally control, arrest and handle Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen.- (VLLF)