Australia and Vietnam team up to combat illegal fishing
Australia and Vietnam are to embark on an in-country public information campaign to educate Vietnamese fishers about the consequences of illegally fishing in Australian waters and the Pacific.
The campaign is being run by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), in partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Australia’s Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said that Australia and Vietnam had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in August 2017, outlining the need to collaborate, to deter illegal fishers from entering and operating in Australian waters.
“The AFMA-MARD education campaign is the next step and will focus on educating fishers on the consequences of fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zones of other countries,” said Ruston.
“Illegal Vietnamese fishing vessels continue to be sighted in Australian waters and across the Pacific region, therefore discouraging this illegal fishing remains a high priority.”
Community information workshops will be held in Sa Ky, in the Quang Ngai Province, which is the home port for many vessels apprehended for illegally fishing in Australian waters and the Pacific. Translators will help AFMA officers deliver information in local languages about international fishing laws and the risks and consequences of illegal fishing.
The Vietnamese Government has previously conducted domestic education campaigns to address illegal fishing in Vietnam’s 28 coastal provinces.
While Vietnam’s efforts have produced short-term success toward preventing illegal fishing, high demand and strong prices, in particular for sea cucumber, continues to incentivize illegal operations.