Vietnam considers combatting IUU fishing an urgent mission

une 5 is International Day against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. Vietnam has implemented several solutions to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated seafood exploitation, hoping to get the EC’s IUU yellow card removed.

Vietnam considers eliminating IUU fishing an urgent task for sustainable development of the fisheries industry and the responsibility of the whole political system and the entire society.

Continuous efforts to get EC’s yellow card removed

The Vietnamese Party and State pursue a consistent policy of being persistent in combatting IUU fishing to protect the ocean and marine resources, and promote sustainable development while closely combining maritime economic development with defending national territorial integrity and sovereignty and respecting international law.

At a recent meeting to implement the Anti-IUU Fishing Plan, a representative of the Department of Fisheries said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has coordinated with the Ministry of Public Security to review fishing vessel data and owners’ personal information on the VNeID application. The Government adopted Resolution 44 calling for information synchronization to be completed by July 1, 2024.

Pangasius Shrimp HungHau export Vietnam

The Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance has proposed the organization of an inter-sectoral taskforce to inspect all 28 coastal provinces and cities. The team, to include representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Ministry of Public Security, will inspect the situation in Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, and Da Nang city this month, and then in Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Soc Trang, and Tra Vinh province in July. In August and possibly September, they will inspect the remaining northern provinces.

Head of the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Nguyen Quang Hung said: “The border guards, the management boards of fishing ports, and local seafood management agencies play a very important role. Localities make lists of fishing vessels to ensure that they don’t work in foreign waters, ensure traceability of seafood, and strengthen the certification process at ports and sub-departments. Businesses must ensure that 100% of seafood exported to the EU and other markets is legal.”

Vietnam considers combatting IUU fishing an urgent mission - ảnh 2

Nguyen Quang Hung, Head of the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance of the Ministry of Agriculture

and Rural Development (photo: 

Initial results

With a long coast and a large number of offshore fishing vessels, Vietnam plays an important role in fish production and export globally. It produces about 5% of the world’s seafood.

With the determination of the Government, ministries, and localities, Vietnam has achieved measurable results in fighting IUU fishing. Vietnam’s legal framework on combatting IUU fishing meets basic international requirements. Vietnam has completed a national fisheries database, called VNFishbase, and its fishing vessel monitoring system has reported positive results. The management of fishing vessels entering and leaving ports, the monitoring of aquatic products through ports, and the tracing of aquatic product origins have improved. Some provinces, such as Binh Dinh, Ca Mau, and Kien Giang, have reported good results.

Since last year, no fishing vessels in Tien Giang province have violated foreign waters, said Nguyen Van Man, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Fishermen’s compliance with the law is getting better day by day. All offshore fishing vessels have installed voyage monitoring devices and have abided by the regulations on docking and leaving ports. Keeping a fishing diary has become a routine of the fishermen. The province has completed the basic tasks of combatting IUU fishing,” Man said.

In Kien Giang province, 100% of fishing vessels have been registered. All ships over 15 meters in length have installed the required VMS monitoring devices. The province has overseen 61% of all fishery output unloaded at its ports and has managed 100% of fishery output unloaded at designated fishing ports.

Le Huu Toan, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “We thoroughly investigate violations and strengthened communications to make the fishermen understand that if they don’t comply with the law, they will be severely punished. We concentrate on tracing the origin of seafood products unloaded at designated ports.”

Fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated seafood exploitation is driving Vietnam’s fisheries industry in a more responsible direction. It’s hoped that the EC will remove its IUU yellow card on Vietnamese seafood after its 5th inspection, scheduled for September and October.


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