Improve the efficiency of fisheries management at fishing ports to soon remove the IUU "yellow card"

VCN - To export to demanding markets, such as Europe, many requirements must be met, in which, in addition to IUU issues, food safety issues are very demanding. . In addition, the storage temperature for seafood on board must also be paid attention to. However, almost all Vietnamese fishing vessels preserve products using the ice method, which only ensures the quality of the fish for 10-15 days.
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Improve the efficiency of fisheries management at fishing ports to soon remove the IUU
The IUU "yellow card" is the biggest obstacle to Vietnamese seafood exports to the EU in the past 6 years and in the coming time. Photo: T.H

Point out and name the limitations

Speaking at the conference on the management of aquatic exploitation activities at fishing ports, Mr. Nguyen Van Trung, Head of the Department of Fishing Vessel Management and Fishery Logistics Services (Department of Fisheries) said that by September by October 2023, the whole country has a total number of fishing vessels with a length of 6m or more about 83,427 vessels. The number of ships registered and updated on the VNFisbase database is 72,217, of which 29,341 have a length of 15m or more. There are currently about 11,210 unregistered ships, updated on VNFisbase, a decrease of 3,393 ships compared to December 2022 due to damage and no longer physically existing locally. Besides, the total number of quotas determined and announced is 84,125 licenses.

“Although the number of fishing vessels has clearly decreased according to development orientation; Infrastructure is initially receiving investment attention when a series of medium-term public investment projects for fishing ports and anchorage areas are approved and will start construction in 2023. The organization of inspection and control of fishing vessels entering and leaving the port, as well as the output of seafood through the port and the enforcement of laws and penalties for IUU fishing have made progress and are in order... However, there are still some problems such as inadequate infrastructure. meet industry development requirements; Investment resources are limited; The scale and capacity of fishing ports and storm shelters for fishing vessels do not meet planning requirements," Mr. Nguyen Van Trung added.

Analyzing more clearly the limitations of the fishing port in recent times, Mr. Tran Dinh Luan, Director of the Department of Fisheries, said that in recent times, there have been many limitations in human resources, infrastructure, and facilities. The fishing port management agency has tried to implement legal regulations on management of fishing activities at fishing ports to control fishing vessels entering and leaving the port, and output arriving at the wharf according to regulations. However, there are still many existing problems that have been pointed out through inspections, especially the recent 4th inspection by the European Commission (EC) Inspection Team.

Specifically, human resources of current fishing port management organizations are very lacking and have not been professionally trained; There is no database software on fishing ports, connecting the fishing port system, sharing information between fishing ports to serve the direction and management work; The situation of fishing vessels losing connection to VMS equipment leads to the inability to fully control the operations of the fleet, so monitoring, confirmation, and certification do not ensure enough data according to regulations.

In addition, the organization of inspection and control of fishing vessels entering and leaving the port, labor on fishing vessels, controlling seafood output through the port and enforcing the law, sanctioning IUU fishing acts when detected at Fishing ports are still very low compared to violations. The control and supervision of seafood output arriving at the port is still limited (100% of the output arriving at the port cannot be controlled), many ports also have indirect control and supervision through the focal point (broker) purchasing aquatic products.

The "key" to removing the IUU "yellow card"

To export to demanding markets, such as Europe, you will have to meet many requirements, in which, in addition to IUU issues, food safety issues are very demanding. In addition, the storage temperature for seafood on board must also be paid attention to. However, according to Mr. Le Ba Anh, Deputy Director of the Department of Quality, Processing and Market Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), almost all Vietnamese fishing vessels preserve products using this method. Frozen, this only ensures the quality of the fish for 10 - 15 days, while in reality ships going offshore to exploit fish take much longer than 15 days.

Regarding the management of aquatic exploitation activities at fishing ports, Mr. Tran Hoa Nam, Vice Chairman of Khanh Hoa Provincial People's Committee, added that during the third field inspection on IUU in Vietnam in 2022, the delegation of EC inspectors worked directly in Khanh Hoa province to check the implementation of the task of combating IUU fishing locally. In particular, inspection and supervision of fishing vessels and seafood output unloaded at fishing ports is an important inspection content of the EC. The inspection team assessed that Khanh Hoa performed well in the task of combating IUU exploitation, fully meeting the requirements for the inspection work of the Team. Although the control of fishing vessels and the output of seafood unloaded through ports in localities across the country have improved, they still do not meet the EC's requirements. This is also the problem that the EC delegation raised at the recent 4th field inspection.

“Recognizing and evaluating the current situation of fishing port management, storm shelters for fishing vessels and the control of fishing vessels and seafood output unloaded through the port will help the authorities have directions and solutions to overcome current problems. From there, improving the management of fishing ports, storm shelters for fishing vessels and the management of fishing activities at fishing ports is better, meeting the EC's requirements, and contributing to the early removal of the 'yellow card' warning for Vietnam's seafood exploitation activities", Mr. Tran Hoa Nam emphasized.

By Xuan Thao/ Huu Tuc

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