US signs agreement to help Vietnam strengthen fisheries law enforcement

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Vietnamese Agriculture Ministry’s Directorate of Fisheries (DFISH), have entered into a memorandum of understanding in order to strengthen Vietnam’s fisheries management and law enforcement capabilities. 

Vietnam Agriculture Ministry Director General Tran Dinh Luan and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink signed the MoU in Hanoi on 22 July, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.

Under the MoU, the INL will provide technical assistance that will enhance the capacity of DFISH and the Vietnamese Department of Fisheries Resources Surveillance (DFIRES) through information and best practices sharing, and the implementation of technical programs and projects. 

As part of their collaboration, in February next year, INL will transfer a training facility in Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island to DFIRES, which is expected to enhance human resources capacity for both the department and local fisheries enforcement units in 28 coastal provinces across Vietnam.  

The MoU will also facilitate cooperation between the U.S. and international law enforcement agencies with Vietnamese counterparts, to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and ensure the sustainability of marine resources.

In October 2017, the European Commission issued a yellow card warning to Vietnam for not doing enough to tackle IUU fishing. Vietnam’s new fisheries law, which went into effect on 1 January, 2019, has already incorporated recommendations made by the E.C. For various reasons, the yellow card status has not been removed yet.

“The United States has a great deal of experience in managing fisheries and enforcing regulations, which we are more than happy to share,” Kritenbrink said. “We look forward to working together with Vietnam to strengthen the sustainability of its fisheries and support its fishers against illegal intimidation.”

The U.S. and Vietnam have since 2015 collaborated to strengthen the latter’s capacity for fisheries management and enforcement through technical training courses, study visits, and other assistance programs. 

Photo courtesy of Quang nguyen vinh/Shutterstock 


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