Government tightens vessel control to fight IUU fishing: Prime Minister's Dispatch

WVR/VNA - The Government has ordered harsh punishments on any violation of vessel-monitoring-system (VMS) rules in a move to get the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” against the Vietnamese seafood products for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing lifted.
Government tightens vessel control to fight IUU fishing: Prime Minister's Dispatch
Government tightens vessel control to fight IUU fishing: Prime Minister's Dispatch. (Photo: VNA)

In a dispatch sent to the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Information and Communications, Justice, Public Security, and Defence, and chairpersons of the People’s Committees of coastal cities and provinces on May 15, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stated that after six years carrying out harmonious measures against IUU fishing, the country has recorded achievements in fishery management, particularly the installation of the VMS devices.

However, illegal fishing in foreign waters remains complicated, he said, adding this is due to violations of VMS regulations and a lack of attention from competent authorities.

If stiff penalties are not meted out, it will be hard for Vietnam to have the “yellow card” removed, and the country may even get a “red card” warning in the EC’s upcoming inspection slated for September-October this year.

Against the backdrop, the Prime Minister asked competent ministers and chairpersons of local People’s Committees to focus on strictly carrying out solutions against IUU fishing, and detecting and settling VMS violations.

They must join hands to review the system and better manage the fleet of fishing vessels to find out in a timely manner any ships having the device switched off or removed. The work must be completed in Q3.

A communications mechanism must be set up to share related information among the ministries and provinces, and raise public awareness about the issue.

Competent authorities must keep a close watch on and maintain regular contacts with fishing communities, while carrying out regular inspections on the VMS quality and installation to detect and handle those who are against the regulations.

The People’s Committees of coastal cities and provinces must ensure resources for the VMS installation on fishing boats measuring from 15 metres.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is assigned to make reports on the implementation of the dispatch to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang – head of the National Steering Committee for IUU Fishing Prevention and Control.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)