He asked the coastal localities to resolutely put an end to illegal fishing by vessels in foreign waters, which serves as a decisive factor for Vietnam to have the yellow card imposed by the European Commission (E.C.) on IUU fishing lifted.

Delegates at the event

“Local authorities must uphold the highest responsibilities and take drastic solutions to put an end to IUU fishing,” he said, adding they must make inspections, manage the implementation of regulations against IUU fishing and absolutely not allow fishing vessels to make violations out of the territory.

According to the National Steering Committee on IUU fishing prevention, following the E.C.'s recommendation on reducing the number of fishing vessels and fishing intensity, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has advised the Prime Minister to direct localities to review the entire number of fishing vessels, update fishing vessel data into the national fishery database VNFishbase.

31 provinces and cities with 71,658 ships have so far updated their database on the VNFishbase.

As of August 29, 2023, the whole country has 86,820 fishing vessels with a length of 6m or more. Among those, there are 30,091 fishing vessels with a length of 15m or more.

About 97.8% of fishing vessels with a length of 15m or more have been equipped with a vessel monitoring system (VMS).

The vessels that have not installed VMS have been on the supervision list of local authorities. Most of them are fishing vessels lying on the shore without operation, or awaiting deregistration.

Since the fourth quarter of 2022, law enforcement forces have detected 11 cases and seized 13 fishing boats, and 115 VMS devices fishing illegally in the wrong area or in foreign waters.

Competent agencies have imposed sanctions on more than 4,000 cases of violations of regulations against IUU fishing since the end of last year.

Some provinces and cities such as Quang Ninh, Quang Binh, Phu Yen, Kien Giang, and Thanh Hoa have a low rate of monitoring fishery production catch, less than 20%.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan proposed the Government set up an interdisciplinary special working group to handle violations such as ship disconnection, and shutdown.

The working group will also be responsible for tracing fishery products’ origin and strengthening management from within the region to offshore.

Source: VNA