From October 10 to 18, the EC delegation carried out its fourth inspection regarding the matter in the provinces of southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau and Binh Dinh.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Phung Duc Tien, acknowledged the commendable efforts and effective guidance provided by the Vietnamese government. He expressed agreement with the country's commitment to transforming its fishery industry into a responsible one, noting that notable improvements have already been achieved.
He observed that regarding the legal framework, the delegation reached a consensus on two proposed drafts to modify and enhance the Government's Decree No. 26/2019/ND-CP, which outlines the enforcement measures for the Law on Fisheries, as well as Decree No. 42/2019/ND-CP, which establishes administrative penalties in the fishery industry.
The main issue lies in the fact that the current implementation only yields limited results when it comes to effectively monitoring fishing vessels and enforcing penalties for violations and fraudulent activities, as emphasized by the official.
The inspectors have requested that the authorities take charge of regulating materials brought in by container ships and enforce penalties for vessels departing Vietnam's waters, as monitored by vessel monitoring systems (VMS).
According to Tien, the EC delegation has advised localities to diligently enforce the legal regulations outlined in the Law on Fisheries. Specifically, they emphasized the necessity of adhering to the rules regarding the installation of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), vessel registration, licensing, and marking.
According to his statement, the delegation will need to submit inspection findings to the EC’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries before a decision is made regarding the withdrawal of the "yellow card" cautionary status for Vietnam.
The leaders of coastal provinces and cities were urged by the deputy minister to take necessary actions in order to prevent vessels from violating anti-IUU fishing regulations in foreign waters.
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is set to swiftly implement the electronic origin tracing system, along with continuing to dispatch delegations for inspecting localities' progress. Additionally, they will suggest appropriate penalties for both groups and individuals who fail to adhere to the regulations.