Quang Ninh makes important progress in removing EC fishing 'yellow card'

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has made important progress in accomplishing recommendations by the European Commission (EC) on Vietnamese seafood, as part of its efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Quang Ninh makes progress in removing EC fishing "yellow card"
Illustrative image. (Photo: baotainguyenmoitruong.vn)

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, five out of the EC's seven recommendations for Quang Ninh have been met. They include controlling the port entry and exit of fishing vessels, strengthening management and improvement of the registration and licensing system for fishing, installing boat tracking devices, ensuring food safety on fishing boats, and punishing violators of IUU fishing rules.

Over 3,850 ships in Quang Ninh have registered with the national fishing vessel database. There have been no reports on illegal encroachment of foreign waters. All of its 210 offshore fishing boats, more than 15m in length, have tracking devices and own a fishing license and a food safety certification.

The province is set to have all fishing vessels granted licences by the end of 2022.

It has established 10 temporary ship monitoring stations to keep a watch on port entry and exit of the fishing ships and fish unloading activities.

In 2017, the EC issued the "yellow card" warning against Vietnamese seafood exports to its market because of insufficient efforts to meet the EC's regulations to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.

Since the issuance of the "yellow card", Vietnam has been working hard to comply with the requirements stipulated by the EC.

Apart from Quang Ninh, other coastal localities have also been implementing recommendations from the EC to fight IUU fishing.

The southern province of Kien Giang, one of the 28 coastal localities, has rolled out various policies and activities to raise locals' awareness of the 2017 Law on Fisheries.

Le Huu Toan, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said all boats in Kien Giang that operate offshore and measure 15m and above in length have been equipped with monitoring devices.

Since late 2021, no violations have been detected in the province, the official said, adding that Kien Giang will continue efforts to deal with limitations in the fight against IUU fishing this year.

The south-central province of Ninh Thuan has also taken measures against illegal fishing, including communication activities and warnings.

Dang Van Tin, head of the provincial department of fisheries, said apart from monitoring devices, his agency has sent engineers to support fishermen off Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Kien Giang provinces.

Over the past two years, Ninh Thuan has organised 70 training courses for 3,000 boat owners, captains and fishermen, with 2,300 owners committing not to operating illegally in foreign countries' waters.

Thanks to free trade agreements (FTAs) and advantages of quality and diversity, Vietnamese seafood products have seen their competitiveness improve across the world market.

To ensure sustainable maritime economic development, the coastal localities have stepped up aquaculture efforts.

The Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said as of late 2021, aquaculture farms covered 260,000ha with a combined output of 600,000 tonnes.

For Quang Ninh, the province will upgrade its fishing ports and wharves, offer fisheries logistics services in Co To and Van Don districts, and establish three key fishing centres in combination with aquaculture and key fishing grounds in localities and two seafood trade centres in Ha Long.

It will also develop logistics infrastructure to make it a sector providing high added value in tandem with promoting foreign trade.

Quang Ninh has prioritised eco-friendly high-tech industrial sectors, manufacturing and processing such as shipbuilding and repair, and cruise tourism, while boosting connectivity between shipbuilding and support industries and encouraging foreign investment in support industries for shipbuilding.

It will develop the processing of aquatic products by using modern technology and improving efficiency, with a focus on food safety, to meet the quality standards demanded by major markets globally.

Quang Ninh will also make use of the achievements of Industry 4.0 to switch from the export of raw materials to deep processing, thus creating added value and saving marine resources.

At the same time, it will study several industries in service of the marine-based economy, seaport-logistics services, the new materials industry, tourism, and entertainment.

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(Source: VNA)