Vietnam anxious for EU to lift illegal fishing warning

06:00 | 02/07/2020 Trade

(VEN)- The lifting of the European Commission (EC) yellow card over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is very important for Vietnam to regain prestige in the international arena.

vietnam anxious for eu to lift illegal fishing warning

Great damage

Since the EC issued a yellow card for Vietnam in 2017 due to violations of the IUU rules, Vietnamese seafood exports to the European market have dropped. From being the second largest import market for Vietnam’s seafood, Vietnam dropped to fifth position, and its exports decreased from 18 percent to 13 percent of Vietnam’s exports.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the yellow card has badly affected Vietnam’s seafood exports. Many traditional customers in the European market have reduced or stopped importing Vietnamese shrimp for fear of incurring a fine.

During the period of the yellow card, all Vietnam’s seafood consignments to the EU are inspected, pushing up costs and reducing competitiveness.

Risk of EC red card

If the EC continues to find illegal fishing in its inspection, there is a great risk that the yellow card will turn red and the consequences would be harsh.

One of the prerequisites for the lifting of Vietnam’s yellow card warning is to stop illegal fishing in foreign waters. According to the Directorate of Fisheries, since the beginning of 2018, Vietnam has prevented such activities, but there are still cases of Vietnamese boats fishing in foreign waters. Based on the EC’s recommendations, Vietnam has set up communications channels with neighboring countries to spot and handle IUU violations.

In order to avoid a red card and achieve a lifting of the yellow card, localities are urged to control fishing vessels entering and leaving ports, and monitor their fishing diaries and reports as well as product origin traceability when exporting to the European market.

The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest import market for fisheries products and it has estimated the global value of IUU fishing to be around US$11-22 billion per year. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally a year, accounting for at least 15 percent of the world’s catch.

Thanh Ha