Public awareness programme broadened to battle illegal fishing

Besides strict administrative measures to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, authorities in coastal provinces and cities in Vietnam have begun communication programmes to raise awareness for fishermen to curb the issue.
Fishermen in Phuoc Tinh commune of Long Dien district in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. (Source: VNA)
Fishermen in Phuoc Tinh commune of Long Dien district in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. (Source: VNA)

These communication programmes need to be effective to curb IUU fishing, especially since the European Commission (EC) issued a “yellow card” warning against Vietnamese seafood in 2017.

Last year, the provincial People's Committee of Ba Ria-Vung Tau issued a warning radio message to keep fishermen in line. Accordingly, when a fishing vessel goes out of monitoring signal range for over six hours, the ship owner will receive a message instructing the vessel owner to handle the situation.

If a fishing vessel loses the signal near a border area, the vessel owner's family will receive a notice from the province’s Fisheries Sub-Department.

Commune officials have joined supervising and supporting fishermen and their families to avoid IUU fishing.

Nguyen Cong Vinh, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, said that it is difficult to identify foreign waters due to insufficient patrols, large areas and a lack of demarcations for boundaries.

Vinh said that localities with fishing ports are take handling violations very seriously.

For example, in Phuoc Tinh commune, Long Dien district, the local Party Committee issued a plan to implement Resolution No. 12-NQ/TU of the Standing Board of the provincial Party Committee on punishing vessels that violate foreign waters for illegal fishing.

In addition to strong measures to punish violations of illegal fishing, localities also strengthened measures, raising awareness of the fishing community in combating illegal fishing.

As a locality with the largest fishing fleet in Vietnam, the southern province of Kien Giang province has undertaken effective solutions.

Lam Minh Thanh, Chairman of the People's Committee of Kien Giang province, sent a letter calling on fishing vessel owners and fishing businesses, captains, and fishermen to join the fight against illegal fishing.

The Kien Giang provincial People's Committee has also promoted the sustainable development of marine aquaculture. The local authorities provide timely and effective support for fishermen.

Specifically, fishermen are supported to access new loans, and to install journey monitoring equipment.

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(Source: VNA)