MARD urges examination of fishing vessels without tracking

Ahead of the coming inspection by a European Commission (EC) delegation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) recently asked the administrations of coastal localities to review the situation of fishing vessels unable to be tracked via vessel monitoring systems (VMS).
Fishing vessels in Quang Binh province. (Photo: VNA)
Fishing vessels in Quang Binh province. (Photo: VNA)

An EC delegation is scheduled to come to Vietnam this April for the fifth inspection of efforts against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

To prepare for the visit and persuade the EC to remove the “yellow card” warning over the issue, the MARD has sent a written request to the People’s Committees of the coastal provinces and centrally-run cities.

Accordingly, it demanded the localities review, examine, and clarify the situation of the vessels unable to be tracked via VMS for more than six months, especially those 24 metres long and over, and report on the causes of their tracking losses, settlement results, and reasons of not imposing fines in line with regulations.

They were asked to verify information to stringently deal with the vessels committing VMS-related violations, especially the ones 24 metres long and over, as well as those infringing and illegally fishing in foreign waters.

The MARD requested the localities increase communications and guidance to help fishermen register their vessels while preventing unverified, unregistered, or unlicensed vessels from operating in their waters.

Besides, the provinces and cities were urged to boost resources for applying the electronic traceability system and electronic logbooks to fishing activities to ensure information transparency. They were also told to make daily updates about fishing vessels, results of administrative punishments, the volumes of seafood recorded at fishery ports, seafood-related certificates, and high-risk vessels, among others, on relevant fisheries databases.

The MARD also asked them to enhance the management of vessels arriving at and departing from local fishery ports so as to detect and thoroughly deal with violating vehicles.

The EC issued a “yellow card” warning for Vietnam in this regard in 2017. It can be followed by a "green card" if the problem is resolved or a "red card" if it is not. A “red card” may lead to a complete ban on aquatic exports to the EU.