Vietnam looks to South Korea, Thailand for guidance on EU inspection process

Published on
February 7, 2020

Vietnam’s southern province of Kien Giang is planning to dispatch a delegation to South Korea and Thailand to learn from the experiences of the two countries in abiding by the European Union’s requirements for eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is seeking permission from the province’s leaders to carry out the trip, in advance of the upcoming inspection by the European Commission scheduled for June, Nong nghiep Viet Nam reported last week.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries had sent inspectors to Vietnam in November 2019 to review the yellow card imposed in October 2017. Kien Giang was chosen as a key province for the inspectors to evaluate the implementation of recommendations made by the E.C.

The E.C. lifted the yellow card on South Korea in 2015 and on Thailand in 2019 in recognition of their progress in tackling IUU fishing.

Kien Giang officials plan to meet up with officials in ports authorized to receive foreign vessels in South Korea and Thailand to learn more about the management of fishing ports, fishing boats, product distribution, and processing technologies for raw material. A key aim of the trip is to meet with officials in the two countries who have experience in working with E.C. inspectors.

Following last November’s inspection by the E.C., Director for the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries’ International Ocean Governance and Sustainable Fisheries of the E.C. Veronika Veits lauded Vietnam for building a legal framework in line with international practices to address the issue of IUU fishing, including the Fisheries Law and guideline documents.

However, Veits recommended Vietnam’s central government, ministries, agencies, and localities work harder to enhance legal enforcement at the grassroots level. To effectively combat IUU fishing, Vietnam must install monitoring devices on more fishing vessels, especially on large-scale ones, Veits added.

Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thai Vinh/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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