Quang Ngai records improvement in fishermen’s awareness of IUU fishing

With many strong measures taken, the central province of Quang Ngai has obtained encouraging results in the combat against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, especially the improvement in fishermen’s awareness.
Quang Ngai records improvement in fishermen’s awareness of IUU fishing
Fishing vessels of Quang Ngai province (Photo: VNA)

Binh Chau commune, known for exploiting sea cucumbers, hawksbill turtles, and flying fish, has more than 400 fishing vessels, of which 170 with 1,700 workers often operate offshore. As its fishing ground is adjacent to the waters of some regional countries, the commune, located in Binh Son district, used to record the biggest number of vessels infringing in foreign waters.

However, since 2018, Quang Ngai has carried out drastic measures, including boosting communications and imposing heavy fines on violating fishermen. As a result, IUU fishing and infringements of foreign waters by Binh Chau vessels gradually reduced and have been completely eradicated in 2022.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, Chairman of the Fisheries Trade Union of Binh Chau commune, said the increase of communications work has proved fruitful, evidenced by the fact that local fishermen are now aware of the harms of foreign waters violations and they work only in the sea areas of Vietnam.

The most fundamental solution to the IUU fishing problem is to raise fishermen’s awareness, so authorities need to ramp up communications and education work while dealing with wrongdoings more strictly, he recommended.

The purpose is to promote fishermen’s sense of responsibility towards Vietnam’s common efforts to persuade the European Commission to remove the “yellow card” warning, maintain sustainable livelihoods, and safeguard the national sovereignty, Hung added.

About 98.6% of the fishing vessels of Quang Ngai have been equipped with monitoring systems. Since the start of 2022, the province hasn’t seen any boats detained by foreign authorities.

Nguyen Van Muoi, Director of the provincial sub-department for fisheries, said fishermen and vessels’ infringement of foreign waters have been curbed, but not sustainably yet.

He also pointed out shortcomings in fisheries infrastructure; resources, including equipment, personnel, and funding, for anti-IUU fishing tasks; and the quality of vessel monitoring systems.

In the coming time, Quang Ngai will press on with law enforcement by boosting patrols and checks at sea, estuaries, and fishery ports to prevent IUU fishing, and also stringently handling violations.

It will also step up giving guidance to fishermen on vessel registration procedures, disseminating related laws and legal documents, and encouraging the maintenance of fishing activities at sea to help safeguard Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty without infringing in foreign waters, according to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Phuoc Hien.

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(Source: VNA)