Vietnam takes action to combat illicit fishing activities

Fishing boatThe country implements action to stop illegal fishing activities and to export fisheries products to the international market. (Image source: Maria e Fernando Cabra/Pixabay)As European Commission has asked Vietnam to take appropriate action against illegal fishing, the country takes steps to implement national action plan to combat illicit fishing activities

Although the warning seems to affect the prestige and export activity of Vietnam’s marine products, this also poses an opportunity for the country’s fishing sector to re-evaluate the current situation, reorganise the production and improve fisheries management system for sustainable development.

Following this warning and in order to comply with EU’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and marine product enterprises have agreed to implement the action programme on combating IUU fishing with the participation and commitment of 76 factories of marine product processing and exporting.

The EU regulation aims to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and came into force on 1 January 2010.

VASEP has partnered with the Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnam Coast Guard and other relevant agencies to implement the national action plan on combating IUU fishing.

The steps include strictly implementing the commitments on purchasing raw materials sourced from legal fishing vessels with clear traceability, saying no to banned marine products, developing transparent seafood purchasing rules, continuing to closely coordinate, actively support the state management agencies in implementing regulations on preventing IUU fishing, proposing changes in the management method of fishing ports, building fisheries database for the management and traceability, meeting the requirements of the EU market and others.

With these, VASEP expects that in the next six months, Vietnamese fisheries sector will have institutional and practical improvements recognised by the EU, which is expected to keep a large importing market for the country with the average export value of US$350mn to US$400mn per year.

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