Viet Nam signs up to international fishing legislation

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 16:12

Off-shore fishing vessels of fishermen in central Quang Tri Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

The Government has agreed to accede to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), the first binding international agreement to specifically target illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The Government has assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to co-ordinate with concerned agencies in the implementation of the PSMA Agreement in strict compliance with the current regulations.

The PSMA Agreement was adopted by members of the FAO in 2009 and entered into force in 2016. It is a turning point in the fight against delinquency in the fisheries sector.

According to the MARD’s Directorate of Fisheries, the European Commission (EC) would return to Viet Nam to review the country’s results in the fight against IUU and consider the possibility of revoking yellow card warnings on its fishing industry in January 2019.

The EC noted Viet Nam’s progress in implementing its recommendations but it saw there were still many challenges that needed to be solved, so that EC would lengthen the penalty for yellow card for additional six months.

In October 2017, the EC notified the application of yellow card warning measures for seafood products exported by Viet Nam, saying that the Vietnamese fishing industry had violated the IUU principles of legal, sustainable and declared fishing.

The yellow card penalty means more time and money being spent on inspections when Vietnamese seafood is expected to enter the EU market. When finalising the yellow card, the EC made nine recommendations for Viet Nam to be implemented within six months from October 23, 2017 to April 24, 2018.

After a period of six months, the EC sent delegations to Viet Nam to monitor the implementation of the recommendations.

The EC delegation’s assessment said there were still many holes in the control of fishing and traceability.

In addition, although Viet Nam has incorporated the EC’s recommendations in the Fisheries Law of 2017, they still needed to be implemented in some localities. — VNS

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