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People arranging seafood exploitation in foreign waters to be prosecuted

Click on the flag for more information about Viet Nam VIET NAM
Thursday, November 16, 2023, 07:20 (GMT + 9)

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang assigned the Ministry of Public Security to prosecute those arranging Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen to illegally exploit seafood in foreign waters.

The Government Office yesterday issued a notice of Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang at a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on several urgent and difficult tasks in an effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and remove the yellow card from European Commission (EC).

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang requested relevant ministries, agencies and localities to carry out urgent tasks and solutions, focusing on combating IUU fishing.

Specifically, the Deputy Prime Minister requested leaders of ministries, agencies and localities to drastically implement the Prime Minister's direction on focusing on implementing urgent and important tasks and solutions to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated seafood exploitation to remove yellow card warning of the European Commission (EC) and other relevant directive documents. These bodies will be held accountable to the Prime Minister for the results of implementing the fight against IUU fishing in the locality.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Development was urged to have negotiations with the EC about the exclusion of regulations on controlling imported aquatic products by container ships for long-fin pectoral tuna. The Ministry must complete this before November 30, 2023.

At the same time, the Ministry should amend and supplement Circular N° 23/2018/TT-BNNPTNT to guide localities to completely handle the group of fishing vessels that are not registered, not inspected, not licensed. The circular must be issued before January 31, 2024.

Location of the five Vietnamese fishing vessels intercepted by Indonesian authorities on March 1, 2020. SourceGlobal Fishing Watch

The ministry is responsible for guiding, and inspecting law enforcement and handling administrative violations in the fisheries sector, especially sanctioning administrative violations for illegal fishing in foreign waters and lost connection of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) in provinces with many violating fishing vessels such as the southern provinces of Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Ben Tre, Bac Lieu, Tien Giang, Ba Ria - Vung Tau , the South-Central provinces of Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa and the Central Province of Binh Dinh. The Ministry must report to the Prime Minister before January 31, 2024.

Additionally, the Ministry should convene meetings of the National Steering Committee on IUU with relevant departments, ministries, agencies and localities to continue directing the drastic and effective implementation of tasks and solutions to combat IUU fishing in the first week of December 2023.

The Royal Thai Navy impounded three Vietnamese boats caught fishing illegally in Thai waters. Source: Pattayamail

According to the Deputy PM’s instruction, the Ministry of National Defense should coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and administrations of coastal provinces and cities to carry out control and have effective solutions to prevent and stop the situation of fishing vessels operating in foreign waters, from now until April 2024 when the EC comes for the fifth actual inspection.

The Ministry of National Defense should direct the Border Guard Command to strengthen forces at coastal border posts and stations to strictly control fishing vessels entering and leaving ports as well as have solutions to propagate regulations and solutions to deter fishermen and vessel owners from violating foreign waters.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has been asked to closely coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and governments of 28 coastal provinces and cities to agree on a plan to handle fishermen who report losing VMS connections served as a basis for administrative sanctions.

An Indonesian navy vessel passes Vietnamese fishing boats before they are sunk at Datuk island in West Kalimantan, May 2019. Photo: Reuters

The Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Public Security to urgently review records and prosecute brokers who seduced Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen to illegally exploit seafood in foreign waters.

The Deputy Prime Minister directed chairpersons of people's committees in coastal provinces and cities to implement urgent tasks from now until April 2024. Specifically, coastal provinces and centrally run cities must have effective solutions to prevent and stop the situation of fishing vessels with illegal fishing in foreign waters from now until April 2024.

Last but not least, authorities must review documents, and completely punish cases of illegal exploitation in foreign waters, and violations of VMS connection loss according to regulations from the beginning of 2023 until now before December 30, 2023.

Author: Phan Thao | Saigón Giai Phong News 

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