The two year long effort that Vietnam has made to fight against IUU fishing has been recognized and highly appreciated by EC. This has resulted in a reasonable opportunity for Vietnam to possibly remove the “yellow card” and develop the local marine exploitation sector for sustainability and efficiency assurance.
Strictly handle the violated vessels
Upon nine EC’s recommendations, Vietnam has carried out the synchronous solutions, set up the National Steering Committee against IUU fishing. The leaders of 28 coastal provinces and cities established the Inspectorate Offices in charge of checking and controlling the fishing ports, performing circulars and decrees and collecting the logbooks so that the vessels can be well managed and exploited marine species meet the traceability requirements. Such ministries and sectors as Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have been looking for an overall solutions to fulfill the EC’s recommendations. The Fishery Law 2017 has been completed to form an important legal ground for the legal execution of marine matters. At present, Vietnam has strengthened international cooperation with regional countries and signed for a hotline to handle the marine matters.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development advises Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng to hold the third steering board’s meeting to work out key solutions in the next time. What needs to be done right away is to bring the illegal fishing to an end. Mr Dũng assigned the Ministry of Defense to chair and work with relevant ministries, sectors and local authorities to find a workable solution to terminate the Vietnamese fishing boats trespassing the foreign water area.
The member of the Economic Committee Mai Thị Ánh Tuyết supposed it would not be easy to change the behaviors of a large number of fishermen at the same time. It would require more determination and more drastic measures, such as imposing hefty fines so that the fishermen would follow the EC’s recommendations and the “yellow card” would be removed soon.
Vietnam in the right way
Coming back from a business trip to Vietnam on 05-14 November 2019 to evaluate the Vietnam’s performance of the IUU fishing recommendations given by EC for the second time, the Inspectorate highly evaluated Vietnam’s effort and realized that Vietnam has been going the right way fighting against IUU fishing. The Inspectorate praised Vietnam’s issuance of brand new legal documents in compliance with the international practices regardless of limited actual performance of the legal framework. However, Vietnam needs to strictly control Vietnamese and foreign vessels and carry out the traceability more effectively. If Vietnam vessels stop trespassing the foreign water area, the “yellow card” will be definitely removed.
The Inspectorate suggested that Vietnam should finalize its legal framework upon the actual situation and make greater effort to instal VMS, manage the operations of vessels especially the ones with length over 24m, carry out the traceability on the exploited species and prove the origin of the marine species that are captured in Vietnam’s ocean and imported from the fishing ports. Beside this, Vietnam should strongly handle and work with agencies and local authorities to control, manage and handle the vessels in contravention of IUU regulations.