Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has urged stronger and more drastic measures to meet recommendations made by the European Commission (EC) to remove its yellow card warning for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
Addressing the fourth session of the National Steering Committee for IUU Prevention on Tuesday, Dung said Vietnam had coordinated closely with the EC to fight IUU fishing and achieved significant progress by enforcing the EC’s recommendations.
However, this was not enough, Dung stressed, pointing to slow implementation in several localities.
He assigned the Ministry of Defence to intensify patrols in overlapping and undefined waters between Vietnam and other countries.
The Ministry of Public Security has been instructed to strictly investigate cases related to Vietnamese fishing vessels operating illegally in other countries’ waters, and strengthen international cooperation in this field.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been asked to speed up negotiations on agreements for the delimitation of special economic zones between Vietnam and other countries, and exert efforts to ensure the legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen when they are arrested illegally by foreign forces.
For a long-term solution, Dung emphasised the need to reduce exploitation and increasing aquaculture.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that in the three years since receiving the yellow card warning, Vietnam had completed a number of the recommendations made by the EC, with the national steering committee set up and several related decrees, circulars and legal documents issued.
The number of Vietnamese fishing boats seized by foreign forces in the first eight months of 2020 decreased and 80.61 per cent of vessels with a length of 15m or more had been equipped with monitoring systems as of August 31.
Cuong said the EC had acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts but noted that there some fishermen were still violating foreign fishing zones.
If these violations continued, the commission would not withdraw its yellow card, he added.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK