Thousands of fishing vessels face suspension

Thousands of fishing vessels in Vietnam may be suspended for failing to install satellite tracking devices.

Thousands of fishing vessels in Vietnam may be suspended for failing to install satellite tracking devices.

Speaking with the Tien Phong Newspaper, Deputy General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Quang Hung said that the offshore fishing vessels from 15 metres in length were required to install the device following Decree 26/2019.


"The decree aimed at ensuring sustainable fishing activities and preventing ships from trespassing into foreign waters," he said. "Although the installation deadline for vessels from 15-24 metres was January 1st, 2020 and vessels from 24 metres or longer April 1, 2020, many boat owners have failed to comply."

According to the official, a satellite tracking device costs between VND20million -VND25 million (USD869-1,087) and boat owners are having to pay a subsciption fee of between VND300,000 - 500,000 (USD13-22) per month. Many boat owners said that they cannot afford that while some others just ignored the regulations.

According to a report from the ministry, there are about 2,600 vessels of over 24 metres nation-wide which have already installed with the device. However only 18,000 out of 28,000 vessels of between 15-24 metres haven't got such device.

"In some southern and central provinces like Kien Giang, Binh Thuan, Danang, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, around 90 per cent of boats have installed the equipment. Meanwhile some northern provinces including Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, Hai Phong, and Nam Dinh only saw some 20-30 per cent of boats with the device, the report said.

The Directorate of Fisheries official said that those 18,000 vessels will have to stop operations and face heavy fines if found at sea.

"This is our effort to urge the lifting of a “yellow card” warning issued since October 2017 by the European Commission for the country’s failure to meet requirements on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing prevention," he explained.

He urged localities to have supporting policies for local fishermen to buy and install the device.


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