08:36 | 06/06/2018 Society
(VEN) - Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Hanh spoke with Nguyen Quang Hung, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries, about business efforts to get rid of the European Commission yellow card against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Could you share the outcome of Vietnam’s efforts to combat illegal fishing?
Under the guidance of the government from the central to local levels, especially the prime minister, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and 28 coastal provinces, fishermen have been made aware of the need to stop illegal fishing.
As a result of the spread of public information among fishermen, almost no fishing boat has been found encroaching on the waters of Pacific island states.
With the expiration of the six-month European Commission (EC) yellow card against Vietnamese seafood exports, the EC is sending a delegation to inspect the situation in Vietnam. What have the MARD and its Directorate of Fisheries done in response?
A delegation of officials from the EC’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) will visit Vietnam from May 16-23 to inspect the implementation of nine recommendations it proposed. The prime minister and the minister of agriculture and rural development have provided guidance for the Directorate of Fisheries and 28 coastal provinces to prepare to receive the delegation.
Local authorities have also provided guidance for fishing facilities and fishing ports to correct mistakes indicated by the EC. The management of fishing boats, as well as the inspection of fishing activities, has been tightened. Special attention has been paid to tracing and certifying the origin of seafood products.
What do you expect from the EC following the delegation’s visit?
The government and the MARD, as well as the business community and the people, expect the EC to remove its yellow card for Vietnam.
The government and the MARD are determined to promote sustainable development of the fishing sector and increase its added value. The prime minister has issued Decision 78/QD-TTg approving a national action plan to prevent, minimize and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing until 2025. The Fisheries Law has been revised to promote sustainable fishing in accordance with the rules of regional and international organizations.
What do you think is the biggest difficulty facing the control and management of fishing boats?
Vietnam currently has about 109,000 fishing boats, including 28,000 offshore fishing vessels. Only 13,000 have installed global positioning systems (GPS).
I think the biggest difficulty facing the control and management of fishing boats is a lack of funds to equip all fishing boats with GPS.
The Directorate of Fisheries has submitted to the prime minister an investment project to upgrade 29 information stations in 28 coastal provinces. It is waiting for the prime minister’s approval for a GPS installation project.