European Commission Affirms Commitment to Support Vietnam in Developing Green And Sustainable Seafood
|Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan. Photo: VNA|
The focus of this working visit of the Vietnamese delegation is to lobby the European Commission (EC) to remove the yellow card for illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing (IUU) before the inspection team conducts the fourth inspection.
Minister Le Minh Hoan clearly stated that the Vietnamese Government's policy is to transform agriculture in an ecological, green, and sustainable direction.
Vietnam considers this not only to fulfill international commitments but to create new values for agricultural development accompanied by environmental protection, preserving resources for future generations, and contributing to global sustainable development.
The Minister also highlighted the Vietnamese Government's commitment to developing a transparent, responsible, and sustainable agricultural sector as Vietnam has become a major food supplier in the world.
Regarding the IUU issue, Minister Le Minh Hoan said that immediately after the EC applied for the yellow card on October 23, 2017, Vietnam immediately identified this as a challenge, but also an opportunity for the fisheries industry.
This allows the industry to transition from a small-scale, multi-occupation, multi-species tropical fishery to a responsible and sustainable fishery management.
Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development immediately reported to the government to develop and implement a synchronous plan with specific goals and solutions throughout the system from central to local levels, especially coastal localities with the participation of authorities, unions, fishing communities, associations and seafood businesses.
Up to now, with the joint contributions of the entire political system, Vietnam achieved outstanding results in many areas.
Vietnam achieved high unity of awareness and drastic action at all levels, sectors, fishing communities, businesses, and the whole society to implement the provisions of law, regulations, and recommendations of the EC on IUU prevention and control.
Vietnam built a comprehensive legal framework for fisheries management and combating IUU fishing through the promulgation of the Fisheries Law.
The work of tracing the origin of seafood has been carried out and carefully controlled.
Vietnam built a national database on sanctions for administrative violations in the fisheries sector from central to local levels to create a database to serve law enforcement. Currently, this database account has been provided to 28 coastal provinces, border guards, and the Coast Guard. As a result, the number of ships violating foreign waters from 2015 to the present decreased significantly.
|Minister Le Minh Hoan worked with agencies of the European Commission (EC) in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: vneconomy|
Minister Le Minh Hoan also emphasized that Vietnam clearly identifies sustainable fisheries development as the key to resolving the EC's yellow card warning.
Therefore, Vietnam paid special attention to building seafood into a large-scale economic sector, with a reputable brand, deeply participating in the global supply chain, protecting, and developing aquatic resources, and preserving biodiversity.
On that basis, Minister Le Minh Hoan requested the EU to quickly remove the IUU yellow card for Vietnam and classify Vietnam as a low-risk group for the implementation of the EU's new anti-deforestation regulations.
The Minister also called on the EC to continue promoting trade and investment with Vietnam, organizing regular business connection forums between the two sides, and supporting Vietnam in developing ecological, circular, and low-emission agriculture.
On the EC side, Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries appreciated the visit of Minister Le Minh Hoan and the delegation.
He acknowledged Vietnam's efforts and progress related to the implementation of four groups of EC recommendations to combat IUU fishing.
The EC representative also affirmed its commitment to accompany Vietnam in developing sustainable fisheries and the goals of green, environmentally friendly economic transformation.
With remarkable efforts, the EC wished to support Vietnam to become a world model in the sustainable development of the fisheries industry and combating IUU fishing.
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