Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong highlighted Vietnam’s determination to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and build a sustainable aquaculture during his recent talks with European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella.
In an interview with correspondents from Vietnam News Agency in Brussels, the Minister said after receiving a yellow card warning from the EU for failing to prevent IUU fishing on October 23, 2017, Vietnam has carried out a series of action programmes to tackle the issue.
The country has worked out measures to improve its institutional system and include EU recommendations on IUU fishing into the revised Law on Fisheries, Cuong said.
After the bill was passed by the National Assembly in late 2017, Vietnam has employed legal regulations, decrees and guiding circulars, he added.
The country has focused on raising awareness of the sustainable use and management of aquaculture among people, businesses and local authorities.
Additionally, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to establish a working group to inspect the implementation of IUU regulations, Cuong noted.
He said he had asked the EU Commissioner to provide technical support and human resources training for Vietnam to promote responsible fishing, as the country is encountering a number of difficulties such as poor infrastructure and equipment, shortage of human and financial resources and limited marine natural resources.
The visit to the EU and Belgium from March 21-24 is significant to help the EU understand more about Vietnam’s determination to remove the yellow card.
The EU agreed to work with Vietnam and consider providing financial and technical assistance and human resources training in the long run in addition to helping the Southeast Asian country institutionalise legal documents in line with international practices.
Promoting effective, legal and sustainable fishing is the common goal of the aquaculture sector, not only in the EU but in all global markets.
“We need to exert more efforts to achieve this inclusive target,” he said.
He suggested refining the newly adopted Law on Fisheries and other relevant regulations.
He also stressed calling for the involvement of society to improve infrastructure for the fishery sector and human resources training; asking all economic sectors, including fishermen and businesses, to strictly follow legal regulations on IUU fishing; and increasing international cooperation.