Vietnam says no to IUU fishing to lift EU sanction

08:55 | 26/11/2019 Trade

(VEN) - After receiving an EU yellow card against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Vietnam’s seafood exports to that market dropped sharply. Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, chairwoman of the VASEP Marine Product Committee (VMPC), talked about the issue in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Mai Ca and Hau Ty.

vietnam says no to iuu fishing to lift eu sanction
Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, Chairwoman of the VASEP Marine Product Committee

Could you tell us more about Vietnam’s seafood exports?

In 2019, Vietnam’s seafood exports are expected to reach about US$3.5 billion in value, raising the total export revenue of the Vietnamese aquatic industry to US$10 billion. Since the beginning of the year, Vietnam’s seafood exports have increased, but those to the EU market dropped sharply due to the impact of the EU’s yellow card against IUU fishing. Specifically, the EU, which was once the second biggest seafood export market for Vietnam, ranked fifth with turnover of US$251 million in the first eight months of the year.

However, the problems can be resolved if businesses and state agencies have the same direction of development, as well as programs to support fishermen.

Why do you think the aquatic industry will be better in the future?

Vietnam has a coastline of more than 3,000km, along with millions of fishermen, laying the foundations for the development of the aquatic industry. If Vietnam focuses on investing in infrastructure and supporting fishermen in fishing, the industry will certainly develop. In my opinion, Vietnam should learn from the experience of countries such as Norway and Denmark, where the fishing industry is often cited as a good example of how a sector should be run.

vietnam says no to iuu fishing to lift eu sanction

What are solutions to remove the EU’s yellow card for Vietnam’s seafood?

After receiving the EU’s yellow card, VMPC and 62 fisheries companies have pledged to meet EU demands on fighting IUU fishing. They have carried their commitment to combating IUU fishing by buying raw materials sourced from legal fishing vessels with clear traceability and only importing legally caught seafood, complying with the provisions of the US, the EU and Vietnam to combat IUU fishing, and participating in seminars, training, information, and communication on fighting IUU fishing.

To get rid of the yellow card, localities and relevant agencies need to work to improve fishermen’s awareness of sustainable exploitation and equip their fishing vessels with journey supervision equipment connecting them with a monitoring system, which will operate non-stop after leaving port. The country needs to develop a transparent information system that connects fishing vessels with ports and enterprises to make it easy to trace the origin of marine products.

If these problems are resolved, the removal of the EU’s yellow card won’t be difficult.

Mai Ca & Hau Ty