EXTERNAT RELATIONS Updated at 09:12:30 08/15/2018  (Views:  810 )

Binh Thuan takes action to remove EC Yellow card on fisheries

BTO - On October 23, 2017, the European Committee (EC) issued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against fishing worldwide. Since the imposition of the yellow card, the Government, ministries, agencies and localities have been trying to meet the EC’s demands.

Binh Thuan, one of the localities with large fishing ground, is taking a lot of actions in an effort to remove the EC yellow card. Due to long coastline of nearly 192km and internal water of 21,600 square meters, the management and monitor of fishing activities face a number of challenges and difficulties.

Current situation and challenges

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), on October 23rd, 2017, the European Union (EU) drew a gold card for Vietnamese seafood due to violations of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) rules. According to the seafood exporters, the withdrawal of the yellow card by the EU was not unexpected, because Directorate-General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) of the EU issued 5 recommendations to require Vietnam make goods, but Vietnam could not implement immediately, and it would need a roadmap and time.

According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, Vice Chairman of VASEP, now, in the total export turnover of Vietnam, seafood was annually US$ 1.9-2.2 billion, the EU and the US, each market accounted for 16 -17% with a value of US$ 350-400 million/year, so the receipt of yellow cards of the EU could cause many bad impacts that affected directly the export of seafood to the EU, and would soon affect the US market and other potential markets.

Specific actions to carry out the EC’s recommendations so the yellow card would be removed and achieving sustainable fisheries sector were also discussed by participants at the conference. According to EC’s requirement, the Vietnamese seafood sector had to implement nine recommendations in six months from October 23, 2017, to April 23, 2018.

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

In a recent teleconference held in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has said that convincing the European Commission (EC) to remove a “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood was of particular importance for the Government, ministries, agencies and localities.

Dung reviewed the implementation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s Directive 45/CT-TTg on urgent tasks and solutions following the EC’s warning. The warning had exposed risks from Vietnamese seafood to the European Union and other markets around the world, having a negative impact on the production and lives of local residents, he said.

Local efforts to eradicate the yellow card

According to the EU regulations, after the warning of yellow card, Vietnam will have 6 months to repair deficiencies, if Vietnam does not improve the EU assessment during 6 months, it will be changed the warning of red card, it means that Vietnam will be prohibited the export of seafood products to the EU. Therefore, the relevant units are continuing efforts to not be changed to the red card and removed the yellow card quickly, returned to the green card.

In Binh Thuan, the locality has put all efforts to carry out propaganda, support and exchange information for fishermen as a part of measure to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Otherwise, the authorities also boost patrol activities of high-capacity offshore fishing ships, revoking permanent licenses of violation cases, etc.

As of now, some 16 violation cases have been deleted from registration lists for frequent offshore fishing operation, revoke 14 fishing licenses and apply administrative punishment with nearly 780 million. As of early May 2018, Binh Thuan has no fishing vessels infringing foreign territorial waters; the number of IUU violations in the local waters has sharply decreased.

Edited and translated by My Thien


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