Thanh Hóa: Fishing Vessels Not Allowed to Depart Ports Without VMS

Fishing vessels when going out to the sea must turn on vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and record exploitation logs, or they won’t be able to leave ports, authorities have said.

Local authorities at Lạch Hội Port in Sầm Sơn in Thanh Hóa province have asked fishermen to observe regulations in order to remove the IUU yellow card raised by the EU.

Lê Văn Thắng from the Thanh Hóa fishing port’s management board said that provincial agencies regularly organize training courses about the Law on Fisheries and other legal documents to improve fishermen’s and vessel owners’ awareness.

State agencies have also sent staff to every ward and commune to help fishermen observe the regulations on fishery exploitation to ensure that all fishing boats are equipped with necessary devices when going to the open sea.

“Fishing boats must use VMS and record their fishery activities, or agencies won’t let them leave the port,” Thắng said.

There are 6,010 fishing vessels with 24,500 workers on the sea, including 1,112 vessels with the length of at least 15 meters specializing in fishing offshore.

As of the end of August 2023, more than 1,200 vessels had left the port and 813 had docked at the port with total seafood output of 6,700 tons. Agencies have included 2,400 fishing boats in the national fishery database – Vnfishbase.

Accroding to Thanh Hóa Fishery Sub-department, surveillance stations located at the sub-department have software to control fishing boats 24/24 hours.

Over the last three years, provincial authorities have helped fishermen to install VMS for free. The local authorities have also strengthened inspection, surveillance and monitoring of fishing boats, especially ones likely to violate IUU regulations.

With the improved awareness of fishermen about regulations, the number of IUU violations has decreased.

State authority has asked for a campaign to enhance patrols to prevent and stop IUU fishing before the EC sends its staff to Vietnam for its fifth inspection.


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