09.10.2022, 10:26

IUU fishing 'yellow card' removal in Quang Ninh province

IUU fishing 'yellow card' removal in Quang Ninh province

Quang Ninh functional forces propagate against illegal fishing to owners of offshore fishing vessels. Photo: Cuong Vu.

After receiving the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing), the People's Committee of Quang Ninh province issued a document requesting the heads of the Relevant departments, branches, and chairpersons of People's Committees of coastal localities urgently organize the strict implementation of specific results of the central directives.

In which earnestly implement solutions to manage fishing, protect and develop aquatic resources and combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in Quang Ninh province in 2022.

The People's Committee of Quang Ninh province assigned the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assume the prime responsibility for organizing inter-sectoral working groups (provincial police, provincial Border Guard Command) to inspect the leadership, direction, and organization of implementation of directives on the recommendations of the EC inspection team on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing at points of inspection and control of fishing vessels in the province.

In particular, focusing on reviewing, guiding, and definitively dealing with shortcomings in issuing fishing licenses, control of fishing vessels entering and leaving the port, installation of VMS equipment, and cases of illegal fishing in foreign seas...; will be completed by October 15, 2022.

Promptly guide localities to organize control at ten fishing vessel control points in Quang Ninh province that have been established under Decision No. 1412/QD-UBND dated May 27, 2022, of the Provincial People's Committee. Also, it is necessary to develop a report on the results of anti IUU fishing in the province, plan, receive and work with the EC's inspection team, and send it to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development before October 15, 2022.

Coordinate with functional agencies to strengthen patrol, inspection, control, and firmly handle violations of regulations on anti IUU fishing. To closely coordinate with localities to monitor, manage, and handle fishing vessels of the province operating in other provinces to prevent and promptly manage acts of IUU fishing.

In addition, the People's Committee of Quang Ninh province also asked the localities to direct the Party committees and authorities of communes/wards/towns to closely follow and master the management areas; propagating and mobilizing people to comply with the law, have a plan to monitor and manage the subjects closely, firmly grasp the area to promptly detect and prevent fishing vessels from illegally fishing in the foreign sea area.

Quang Ninh has nearly 7,400 fishing vessels, active in both open, coastal, and coastal areas, a significant fishing ground adjacent to the Gulf of Tonkin, and a joint fishing area with foreign countries. Therefore, Quang Ninh's seafood is prone to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. This is why Quang Ninh is among the localities that have been warned by the European Commission (EC) for the "yellow card" IUU has warned about the above violations.

Quang Ninh functional forces propagate against illegal fishing to owners of offshore fishing vessels. Photo: Cuong Vu.

According to the leader of Quang Ninh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, although the number of cases has recently decreased, there is still a high risk. With the determination to remove the "yellow card" of the European Commission, Quang Ninh province is stepping up the implementation of synchronous solutions to prevent IUU violations.

By the end of July 2022, Quang Ninh province has removed 6/7 "yellow card" warnings. There is still a warning criterion related to managing fishing vessels and issuing fishing licenses that are not met.

The IUU "yellow card" warning criteria focused on removing Quang Ninh include controlling fishing vessels entering and leaving the port, installing equipment to monitor fishing vessels' journey, ship management and issuing fishing licenses, food safety for fishing vessels, sanctioning administrative violations of illegal fishing... Especially, in recent years, Quang Ninh province has had no fishing vessels violating foreign waters.

Up to this time, Quang Ninh has over 3,850 ships registered in the National Fishing Vessel Database software; 210 offshore fishing vessels installed and synchronized cruise monitoring equipment and registered fishing licenses and food safety certificates; More than 1,000 fishing vessels signed food safety commitments and issued fishing licenses. More than 120 ships out of more than 960 vessels exploiting the coastal areas continue to be registered by localities according to regulations.

Previously, at the 6th meeting of the National Steering Committee to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing on September 20, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan called for stakeholders to make a master plan, implementing all anti-IUU measures before the inspection team of the European Commission (EC) visits.

One of the main contents noted by the Minister is to focus on removing the four recommendations of the EC, namely: Ending the situation of fishing vessels violating illegal fishing in foreign waters; Strictly managing ships at sea; Trace the origin of caught seafood synchronously; Law enforcement, thorough handling.


Author: Cuong Vu

Translated by Ha Phuc