Khanh Hoa asked to hasten moves to address IUU fishing

A delegation of agriculture, defence, and public security officials visited Khanh Hoa on September 30 - October 1 to inspect the south central province’s efforts against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Fishing vessels in Khanh Hoa province. (Source: VNA)
Fishing vessels in Khanh Hoa province. (Source: VNA)

The trip was made ahead of a visit to Vietnam by a European Commission (EC) delegation from October 17 to 28 to examine the country’s moves to carry out recommendations about IUU fishing prevention. This is considered a great opportunity for Vietnam to persuade the EC to remove the “yellow-card” warning against IUU fishing.

Nguyen Trong Chanh, head of Khanh Hoa’s fisheries division, said the entire local political system has taken drastic actions to eradicate IUU fishing and obtained encouraging results.

The province has updated information about all the 3,199 fishing vessels on the national fisheries database (Vnfishbase) and granted fishing licenses to 3,184 vessels (equivalent to 99.5%). All vessels are examined before and after each fishing trip, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the first nine months of 2022, local authorities examined 2,724 tonnes of seafood and certified 2,082 tonnes. The fisheries division also organised 336 patrols and examinations, fining 54 violating cases nearly 600 million VND (25,100 USD).

Vu Duyen Hai, Deputy Director of the Capture Fisheries Department at the MARD’s Directorate of Fisheries, spoke highly of Khanh Hoa’s efforts in combating IUU fishing but also asked the province to address several shortcomings, including those related to the examination of food safety, monitoring system, fish catch, export, and import.

In particular, it is necessary to increase personnel for fishery ports and ensure control over the number of vessels, he noted.

Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Quang Hung said removing the “yellow-card” warning and steering clear of a “red card” issued by the EC is an urgent task of the entire political system.

He added as Khanh Hoa has a relatively large fishing industry and many businesses exporting fishery products to Europe, its localities should step up communications to encourage fishermen to join hands in fighting IUU fishing while keeping a close watch on the boats that haven’t installed the vessel monitoring system and asking vehicles to turn on the equipment during their fishing trips.

Khanh Hoa still has much to be done before the EC delegation comes, Hung said, requesting it to devise a detailed plan, complete papers, and review personnel at fishery ports.

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(Source: VNA)