Khanh Hoa to prepare for EC's removal of IUU 'yellow card'
Many positive results regarding IUU
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had a working session with Khanh Hoa Provincial People's Committee on the morning of October 1 to review the implementation of regulations against IUU fishing, work towards removal of the "yellow card" by the European Commission as well as make necessary preparations to coordinate with the EC's inspection team.
At the working session, Mr. Le Tan Ban said that Khanh Hoa province currently has 3,199 fishing vessels operating at sea; including 654 ships with a length of 15 to 24 meters and 36 ships with a length of 24 meters.
Khanh Hoa province currently has 4 fishing ports and 1 storm shelter for vessels; 57 seafood export production and processing establishments that have been granted industry standard certificates by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The average annual exploitation output is 96,000 tons; the export turnover in 2021 reached 753 million USD.
The export turnover passed the 519 million USD mark in the first 9 months of 2022, which is an inrease of 34.78% over the same period last year.
Regarding the fight against IUU fishing, according to Mr. Le Tan Ban, the entire provincial government has drastically implemented solutions and achieved many positive results.
The province has issued over 254 documents directing units to implement IUU solution tasks starting from 2018.
Additionally, Khanh Hoa promoted propaganda against illegal fishing on fishing vessels that regularly operate in offshore waters.
So far, 3,199 fishing vessels in the province have been fully updated on the VN Fishbabe software;3,184 fishing vessels have been licensed, accounting for 99.5% of the total number of vessels in the province; 1,399 vessels have been granted technical safety certificates; 675 fishing vessels with a length of at least 15 meters have installed cruise monitoring equipment (accounting for 97.8%); and 662 fishing vessels have earned food safety certificates (accounting for 95.94%).
The fishing vessel monitoring station under the Sub-Department of Fisheries are constantly manned with staff on duty to closely monitor fishing vessels operating at sea. Port Management Board closely inspect import and export fishing vessels. Furthermore, all vessels arriving and leaving the port must report to the Port Management Board an hour in advance as prescribed.
Hon Ro fishing port has verified and confirmed 99 seafood raw materials with 2,724 tons of seafood in the first 9 months of 2022. The port has issued fisheries exploitation license for 96 shipments with more than 1,176 tons of seafood, 85 of which are exported to the EU.
Regarding law enforcement, the province has gradually reinforced patrols and control. The Sub-department organized 336 patrols, inspections, and fined nearly 600 million VND on 54 violations in the first 9 months of 2022.
Violations handling records are fully archived and updated on the Vn Fishbabe database as well as on administrative violation sanctioning software.
According to Mr. Ban, the province issued the Plan 7511 in preparation for the welcoming of the EC's inspection team. Accordingly, localities within the province also developed individual plans to welcome and work with the EC's delegation.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has also asked seafood export processing businesses in the province to actively review their dossiers. Moreover, the Sub-Department of Fisheries were directed to coordinate with the Sub-Department of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Management and the Center for Agro-Forestry Product Quality Region 3 in organizing inspection, review, and guidance on verification and certification of aquatic origin in businesses and related units.
Strictly manage fishing vessels, review data, and trace seafood records
A delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development performed inspections at Cam Ranh international port, seafood processing and export businesses including Vietnam Tuna Co., Ltd., Hung Thinh Co., Ltd., Sub-department of Fisheries and Hon Ro fishing port in Khanh Hoa province on September 30.
During the series of inspection, Ms. Nguyen Thi Trang Nhung, Deputy Director of Science, Technology and International Cooperation under General Department of Fisheries reported on several outstanding issues.
As a result, she suggested these units to review and complete the verification and certification documents. The records must be connected and matched between the relevant units. In addition, specialized agencies must have a clear understanding of goods passing or not passing through ports, in order to demonstrate the supervisor role of the port's management agency.
Mr. Vu Duyen Hai, Deputy Director of the Department of Fisheries Exploitation under General Department of Fisheries suggested the province to review and strictly manage its fishing vessels. He also placed emphasis on vessels that have not installed cruise monitoring equipment along with 14 vessels with unknown whereabouts. The province needs to monitor fishing vessels operating at sea; review fishing logs and traceability records of seafood, and so on.
Ms. Phan Thi Hue, Director of the Department of Legal Affairs and Inspection under the General Department of Fisheries said that the province is worried of the upcoming EC's inspection. She suggested the local government to remain careful throughout the entire inspection process. She also advises the province to maintain regular operation, avoiding prohobiting vessels from entering ports.
In addition to the preparation of reports, operations, information technology and management, all records must be prepared logically and properly in preparation for the EC delegation. The province needs to promptly mobilize forces to support the Sub-Department of Fisheries in reviewing all records and data in the immediate future.
Proposing the province to perform 8 tasks
In response to the shortcomings pointed out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Nguyen Quang Hung, Deputy Director of the General Department of Fisheries, proposed Khanh Hoa province to direct relevant agencies and implement 8 tasks in the near future.
Firstly, it is necessary to develop a detailed plan to welcome the EC delegation. All data from the Sub-Department, businesses, fishing port management board and related units must be unified. Secondly, the Sub-Department of Fisheries need to check and review the data, records as well as store them logically.
Thirdly, the fishing port management board must also check all records and review its personnel, the number of vessels entering and leaving; quantity of output through the port; collect fishing records, etc. Fourthly, the province is requested to direct businesses to actively review all documents related to verification and export certification. Businesses must be responsible to the Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee for not completing their tasks when the EC delegation begins their inspection.
Fifthly, the Sub-Department of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Management and the Center for Agro-Forestry Product Quality Region 3 must cooperate with businesses to review the dossiers. Sixthly, districts and communes must directly manage its people and vessels; and avoid letting vessels violate foreign waters.
Seventhly, the Border Guard has an important role in combating IUU fishing in controlling every vessel that enter or leave the port. Therefore, the Border Guard must also review all records and sanction fishing vessels. The records must be updated timely, logically and match with the relevant units. Eighthly, the Provincial IUU Steering Committee need to provide directions to overcome the shortcomings as pointed out by MARD.
Mr. Nguyen Quang Hung said that the EC delegation will visit Vietnam from October 17 to October 28 to perform inspectiong regarding anti-IUU. Khanh Hoa province has made great progress in combating IUU fishing after many inspection trips. However, the province still has room for improvement.
Mr. Dinh Van Thieu, Vice Chairman of Khanh Hoa Provincial People's Committee commented on these issues that there will be instructions for relevant agencies to overcome them. For the moment, Khanh Hoa will develop a detailed plan and assign tasks to relevant agencies in preparation for the EC delegation.
Author: Kim So
Translated by Nguyen Hai Long
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