Vietnam makes inroads into IUU fishing regulations

11 Nov 2010

Twenty-one out of 28 coastal provinces in Vietnam have had ships register for verification of the origin of aquatic products for export to the European market since the country began implementing regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing 10 months ago.

Vietnam’s fisheries sector has also granted almost 17,000 certificates of origin to more than 78,000 tonnes of products caught at sea that were eligible for export to the European Union.

However, adherence to IUU regulations is still facing a wide range of difficulties as seafood exporters have to buy materials from different fishing boats and provinces. As a result, each of these shipments has many certificates of origin instead of only one as required by the European Commission.

In addition, the failure to agree on a number of products between Vietnam and the EU has also confused businesses and authorised agencies certifying the products.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is planning to set up a working group to co-ordinate with the EC’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to deal with these hurdles.

MARD’s statistics show that the country has caught more than 2 million tonnes and raised over 2.2 million tonnes of aquatic products during the first 10 months of 2010, year-on-year increases of 9% and 3%, respectively.

During the reviewed period, Vietnam earned almost $4 billion (€2.9 billion) from seafood exports. It is expanding into Latin America and the Middle East markets while maintaining its traditional key markets of the US, Japan and Europe.

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