Ba Ria-Vung Tau joins collaborative effort to remove EU’s yellow card

(VOVWORLD) -  To help remove the EU’s warning, known as “yellow card” for Vietnamese seafood exports, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province has stepped up communications and slapped stiff sanctions on ship owners who infringe upon offshore fishing. This is one of the key things the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been doing in localities with a fishing industry.


Ba Ria-Vung Tau joins collaborative effort to remove EU’s yellow card - ảnh 1Ba Ria-Vung Tau law enforcement forces give fishermen coordinates to help them avoid fishing in foreign waters. 

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that at the end of last year, Ba Ria-Vung Tau had nearly 6,000 fishing vessels, almost half of which are fishing offshore. As Vietnam works to remove the EU’s yellow card, the number of Ba Ria-Vung Tau fishing boats operating in overlapping or neighboring waters has decreased.

To minimize the number of vessels intruding into other countries’ waters for illegal fishing, Ba Ria-Vung Tau has increased patrols in key areas to control violations.

Nguyen Van Binh, a ship owner from Phuoc Tinh commune, said: “Agencies have given fishermen coordinates so that they can avoid fishing in foreign waters. Sometimes the fishermen are unintentionally pushed by waves 1 or 2 nautical miles into other countries’ waters. We must be well aware of the law or risk losing our assets.”

Nguyen Van Hai, a veteran captain of a trawl-boat from Vung Tau City, said fishermen want maritime law enforcement forces to appear regularly in the vicinity and give them timely warnings.

“We are very worried because we are not sure which waters belong to Vietnam and which belong to other countries. We hope the Vietnamese coast guard can be stationed at fishing grounds so fishermen will feel secure in fishing there,” Hai said.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau joins collaborative effort to remove EU’s yellow card - ảnh 2Ba Ria-Vung Tau now has 1,600 trawl-boats .  

Nguyen Huu Thanh, Deputy Director of the provincial Fisheries Department, said trawl-boats are the most frequent violators.

“There are 1,600 trawl-boats in our province. We plan to restructure the fleet and the fishing methods,” he added.

Removing the EU’s yellow card is in the national interest, not just in the interest of the local fisheries sector, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province intends to deal harshly with violators, even revoking the licenses of the captains of fishing vessels in violation.  

It’s compulsory now for fishing vessels and logistical support vessels to install cruise monitoring systems that provide full information about fishing grounds, fishing equipment, time of casting and drawing up nets, and the types and weight of seafood caught. Vessels fishing illegally will not be permitted to make landfall. Offshore fishing vessels are allowed to dock only at ports regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and set up for aquatic product surveillance.

In 2017, the European Commission issued a “yellow card” to Vietnam, warning that the country’s seafood exports could be banned unless Vietnam do more to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.