Sunday,  Nov 18, 2018,18:54 (GMT+7) 0 0
Southern provinces join forces to prevent illegal fishing
By Trung Chanh
Wednesday,  Sep 19, 2018,17:26 (GMT+7)

Southern provinces join forces to prevent illegal fishing

By Trung Chanh

Tuna processing at a seafood fair. Seven coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta region and the south-central province of Binh Thuan join forces to prevent illegal fishing - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH

BEN TRE - Seven coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta and the south-central province of Binh Thuan have signed a coordination agreement on the monitoring of fishing boats in a bid to have the European Union’s yellow card warning on Vietnam’s seafood lifted.

The seven Mekong Delta provinces are Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.

At the meeting on the signing and execution of the coordination agreement in Ben Tre on September 19, Nguyen Chi Quang from Ben Tre Province’s border guard command said the signing was intended to put in place measures to prevent and deal with fishing boats and fishermen committing violations when operating in the waters of the involved provinces.

It was also aimed at putting an end to illegal fishing and working toward the removal of the yellow card on Vietnam’s seafood.

According to Quang, besides information exchange, the participating localities will coordinate to educate the public on the law on fisheries, inspect fishing boats and crew members and address violations.

Vice Chairman of Ben Tre Province Nguyen Huu Lap said that localities previously did not have a mechanism by which to coordinate their efforts, making it difficult to prevent and sanction illegal fishing.

Regarding the effective management of illegal fishing activities, Chairman of Bac Lieu Province Duong Thanh Trung noted legal measures should be taken into account, depending on the seriousness of the violations.

Luu Van Huy, head of the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance, said there are some 109,000 fishing boats nationwide, including 28,600 offshore boats, with the 2017 catch reaching 3.2 million tons of fish.

However, according to Huy, the rapid increase in the number of fishing boats compared with the current fishery resources has created a negative impact, particularly with local fishing boats operating in foreign waters.

As many as 95 illegal fishing cases involving 156 boats have been reported year-to-date. Many of these cases involve fishing boats from Binh Thuan, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang and Ca Mau.

Therefore, coordination among these localities is in line with the recommendations of the European Union, Huy said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development earlier demanded the recall of GPS devices installed on small fishing boats shorter than 24 meters, to have them placed on larger boats. The device installations must be completed by next month.

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