The People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has instructed relevant departments and agencies to deal with shortcomings in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing based on recommendations by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The locality said it will quickly investigate, verify and handle any case of brokering and facilitating illegal operations in foreign waters by local fishing vessels and fishermen.
The move is in anticipation of the fourth inspection by the EC delegation over Vietnam’s efforts to combat IUU fishing from October 10-18.
Over the past time, Tien Giang has kept close control of the fleet of fishing boats, including the total number of vessels, their registration, operational licences, installation of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), and information updates on the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase).
Any violation of fishing regulations, especially that on VMS installation, has been strictly handled.
Apart from seafood traceability, local competent forces have inspected the operations of businesses that specialise in processing aquatic products for export to the European market.
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee Phan Van Trong said Tien Giang has consolidated its steering committee for IUU fishing combat, and coordinated with other localities in the field.
Attention has been paid to popularising the 2017 Fisheries Law and documents guiding its implementation, among others, through diverse activities.
Such efforts have paid off as no cases of fishing boats encroaching on foreign waters were reported in the province in 2022 and the first eight months of this year.
In September, Tien Giang imposed fines worth nearly 160 million VND (6,570 USD) on 22 individuals for their violations of fishing regulations such as captains lacking working licences, not keeping fishing diary and removing VMSs.
Currently, all operating fishing boats in the locality have completed registration, and have their information updates on VNFishbase.
Trong said the province will step up the information work in the time ahead to raise the awareness of all stakeholders about IUU fishing, adding the committee has assigned the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to continue reviewing fishing vessels, while coordinating with other competent forces in this regard.