According to the Directorate of Fisheries, the Prime Minister has recently issued Decree No.37/2024/NQ-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree No.26/2017/NQ-CP of the Government detailing a number of articles and measures to implement the Fisheries Law, along with Decree No.38/2024/ND-CP regulating sanctions on administrative violations in the field of fisheries, and Decree No.38/2024/ND-CP replacing Decree No.42/2019/ND-CP on penalties for administrative violations in the fisheries sector.

Border guards popularize fisheries regulations to fishermen.

Director of the directorate Tran Dinh Luan said that major new contents of Decree No. 37/2024/NQ-CP include more flexible administrative procedures in case of natural disasters or epidemics where it is impossible to organize on-site inspections and assessments serving the issuance of licenses, certificates and approval of documents, reality assessments and supervision. In those cases, evaluation activities will be conducted online, along with the procedures for registration of aquaculture farming, and the announcement of the closure and opening of fishing ports, he said.

Regarding fishing boat monitoring, the decree clarifies the responsibility of central and local agencies in managing and use of the vessel monitoring system (VMS), as well as the responsibility of VMS suppliers.

The decree has an additional regulation on observers on Vietnamese fishing vessels operating in Vietnam's territorial waters to create a legal framework to maintain and promote Vietnam's seafood exports to the U.S.

It adjusts and supplements a number of regulations on controlling foreign vessels’ activities of exploiting and transporting aquatic products originating from Vietnamese ports, and controlling seafood and aquatic products imported into Vietnam.

Regarding new regulations prescribed in Decree No. 38/2024/ND-CP, Luan said that the decree increases the prescription for sanctioning administrative violations in the fisheries sector to two years, along with stricter punishments on repeated violations, and the power of rangers on posing punishments on violations of regulations on the protection of aquatic resources in national parks and conservation areas.

Heads of the Departments of Fisheries, Chairpersons of People's Committees of provinces, districts and communes, police, border guards, coast guards, customs, market management, fisheries inspection forces, forestry rangers, inspection and agencies assigned to perform specialized inspections are also permitted to handle such violations, according to the decree.

Addressing the conference, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that with increasingly effective legal tools, all localities should work hard to join hands with central agencies in seeking the European Commission (E.C.)’s removal of the “yellow card” against Vietnam’s seafood exports.

The official noted that progress has been seen in IUU fishing prevention and combat, but there is still much work to do.

Localities should continue to focus on supervising their fleets, trace the origin of seafood products and strictly handle violations according to the new regulations, he underlined.

Source: VNA