Deputy Chief of the Vietnam Coast Guard Command Senior Colonel Vu Trung Kien, Deputy Chairman of the Ba Ria - Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Cong Vinh, and Deputy Chairman of the Ben Tre provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Minh Canh chaired the meetings.

Participants at the conference held in Ba Ria city

Over the past time, even though Vietnamese trawlers’ illegally, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has decreased, it still remains complicated. In the first sixth months of this year, there have been 35 IUU fishing cases in which 54 trawlers and 507 fishermen have been arrested by foreigners due to encroaching on the waters of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

In the face of the complicated developments of the aforementioned situations, the Vietnam Coast Guard Command has embraced and seriously implemented directives and resolutions issued by the Government, Prime Minister, National Steering Committee and the Ministry of National Defense’s Steering Committee on IUU fishing. In addition, the coast guard force has regularly patrolled, combated IUU fishing, and carried out search and rescue in the waters bordering Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia with the engagement of around 8-10 coast guard ships and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Reportedly, in the first half of this year, the coast guard force in collaboration with local authorities, authorized agencies, and foreign coast guard forces has handled 29 cases involving 48 ships and 362 fishermen; checked and dealt with 178 ships with administrative violations.

At the conferences, the chairs and delegates spoke highly of the achievements in IUU fishing prevention, pointed out shortcomings to be fixed and difficulties to be surmounted.

They agreed that in the coming time, the coast guard force continues to strengthen close coordination with local authorized agencies and other forces, including border guard, navy, and fisheries surveillance units, to review, manage, follow, and supervise trawlers fishing offshore. In addition, they will speed up the installation of the vessel monitoring system (VMS) on trawlers, establish inter-sectoral monitoring groups to detect and handle trawlers that disconnect or cross the sea border into foreign waters for illegal fishing and to closely monitor the origin of seafood. The groups will resolutely deal with cases of violations against IUU fishing in accordance with the laws and make them public on mass media to boost dissemination of information about IUU fishing and deter violators.

Moreover, the coast guard force will encourage ship owners, captains, and fishermen to prevent IUU fishing and commit to abiding by law.

Coast guards check and disseminate information about IUU fishing prevention to fishermen.

An information exchange mechanism between local authorities and patrol forces will be established to provide update position and information about ships with no signals and expired registration of operation, and encroaching the waters of bordering countries.

In the time ahead, the Vietnam Coast Guard Command and leaders of the two aforementioned localities will continue to advise the Government, ministries, and departments to effectively carry out all working aspects on prevention of IUU fishing, crimes, and violations of law at sea.

Translated by Mai Huong