The European Commission will send a working team to Vietnam in late May or early June to review the country’s efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing before it lifts the yellow card on seafood imports from Vietnam.
Seafood products are sold at a supermarket. Many efforts are being taken to lift the yellow card imposed on the local seafood by the EC
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on April 23 held a conference in Hanoi City to take prompt measures to address existing shortcomings in the local fishing sector and remove the yellow card imposed on Vietnamese seafood by the EC, the local media reported.
Speaking at the conference, Nguyen Quang Hung, deputy director of the Directorate for Fisheries of Vietnam, said that the country should quickly take steps to fight IUU fishing to avoid the red card.
Many delegates stated that localities nationwide, however, attached little importance to fighting IUU fishing and had not yet fully adopted measures to remove the yellow card.
Apart from fishing vessel monitoring systems failing to meet requirements, fishing vessels illegally entering and exploiting seafood in foreign waters are still not penalized strictly, in line with the direction of the Government and the prime minister, creating a high risk of getting a red card from the EC.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the ministry will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government Office to ask the prime minister to establish a national steering committee on IUU fishing; speed up the installation of monitoring systems on fishing boats, including positioning equipment; and prevent fishing vessels from violating rules in foreign waters.
Also, Hung underscored the need to raise the awareness of fisheries management agencies and fishing communities to combat IUU fishing.
Some delegates suggested enhancing the efficiency of collaboration between localities and authorities such as the coast guard, border guards and naval forces to control fishing boats and inspect equipment installed on boats.
The EC issued a yellow card warning to Vietnamese seafood products on October 23, 2017, as the country had failed to clamp down on IUU fishing. This warning has heavily affected local seafood exports to EU countries.
As required by the EC, Vietnam has to act on its nine recommendations, including ensuring the effective adoption of revised laws; enhancing the effective execution of international regulations and management measures; increasing the traceability of seafood products; preventing sales of products from IUU fishing; and promoting cooperation with other countries. SGT