The European Commission (EC) will once more assess within 6 months the likelihood of lifting the ‘yeallow card’ imposed on Vietnam last year, as a warning due to the Government is tackling illegal fishing.
Although the European bloc has detected improvements in the solution of the identified issues during the assessment developed from May 15 to 24 this year, the EC decided that they would consider lifting the yeallow card in January 2019, as it informed the D – Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Fisheries Directorate said that although Vietnam has acted on suggestions from EC last year to improve controls over offshore fishing in the 2017 Fishery Law, there was still room for improvement in the actual implementation process at local provinces.
On the other hand, Trương Đình Hòe, general secretary of the VASEP noted that the seafood volume exported to the EU will drop as both exporters and importers will suffer from more time-consuming customs clearance procedures, resulting in higher costs.
Answering a question by Retail News on the possibility of a red card for Vietnam’s seafood, which would entail a complete ban on Vietnamese seafood exports, if the country fails to fix the situation as requested by the EC, Hòe said the EC is not likely to issue a red card as the local seafood sector is striving to cope with its shortcomings and comply with the EC’s recommendations. He added that it is not easy to resolve the existing problems over the short term. Thailand, for example, has had a yellow card for several years.
Nguyễn Thi Trang Nhung, deputy director of the Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation under the D- Fisheries said that the department will hold a press conference on the problem on July 3.
The EC estimates that each year, between 11 and 26 million tons of fish, at least 15 percent of the global catch worth 8 and 19 billion euros, are caught illegally.