Fishing boats requested to turn on positioning devices round the clock
Updated : Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:15 PM (GMT+0700)

TheMinistry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has sent a document toPeople’s Committees of coastal provinces and cities, requesting ship owners andcaptains to turn on satellite-positioning devices (Movimar) round the clockwhen going fishing offshore.

Ship owners and captains are requested to turn on satellite-positioning devices (Movimar)
round the clock when going fishing offshore - Photo: VNA

It was the latest move bythe MARD to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in aneffort to have European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” lifted on Vietnameseseafood.

All fishing boats with atotal length of 15 metres or above must be equipped with asatellite-positioning device which must be switched on for 24 hours a day andconnected to monitoring centres run by local Fisheries Departments, accordingto the MARD.

The ship owners and captainswho fail to comply with this regulation will get strict penalties.

The ministry also asked themunicipal and provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development toreview and record the number of Movimar devices being used by fishing vesselsand those being damaged or lost. The fishing vessels will have their devicesrepaired or replaced if necessary.

On October 23, 2017, the ECissued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam, after the country failedto demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against fishing worldwide.Though the measure was considered a warning, which would not technically affectthe EC trade policy, the Vietnamese fishing industry was concerned that theyellow card would seriously harm the reputation of Vietnamese seafoodworldwide, thus weakening sales. 

According to EC’srequirement, the Vietnamese seafood sector had to implement ninerecommendations in six months from October 23, 2017, to April 23, 2018.

The nine recommendationsincluded revision of the legal framework to ensure compliance withinternational and regional rules applicable to the conservation and managementof fisheries resources, ensuring the effective implementation and enforcementof the country’s revised laws, and strengthening the effective implementationof international rules and management measures.

As the yellow card couldaffect the reputation and trade of Vietnamese seafood in the European andglobal markets, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers(VASEP) and businesses have also made every effort to cooperate with authorisedagencies and with one another to fight IUU fishing over the last six months.

“Thanks to such drasticmeasures, the number of fishing boats and fishermen caught fishing illegally onforeign waters reduced sharply. Particularly, zero case of boats going illegalfishing in foreign waters of Pacific island nations was reported”, said DeputyMinistry of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan, adding thatbreaches are only found at disputed waters as the boundaries in these areashave yet to be fixed.

A working delegation fromthe EC Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will visitVietnam from May 16 to 23 to inspect the country’s implementation of the EC’snine recommendations related to the fight against IUU fishing.

After the inspection, the EUwill give its final decision over whether it seeks to withdraw the “yellowcard” from Vietnamese offshore seafood.


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