|By April 2018, six months after the adoption of the yellow card, Vietnamese authorities are expected to provide a progress report addressing the implementation of the action plan. — Photo infonet.vn|
BRUSSELS – The European Commission is willing to cooperate with and support Vietnamese authorities in their reforms to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
This was said by Karmenu Vella, Commissioner of the European Union for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
In an interview to the Vietnam News Agency in Brussels, Vella said the European Commission welcomed the high-level commitments of the Vietnamese authorities, notably the plan adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, to implement urgent measures to overcome the yellow card adopted in October 2017.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường is currently on a working visit to the European Union from March 20-24 to promote the removal of “yellow card measure” for Việt Nam in IUU fishing.
“Nonetheless, the European Commission reiterates its concerns as regards the translation of such commitments into tangible measures aimed at addressing the serious shortcomings that led the Commission to adopt the yellow card,” Vella said.
According to him, the adoption of pre-identification (yellow card) of Việt Nam as a non-cooperating country in fighting IUU fishing in October 2017 is the formalisation of a dialogue in place since 2012. This step is just a warning and does not imply any kind of trade-related measures, he said.
“The objective of the European Union’s IUU policy is to enter into a cooperation with competent authorities in third-world countries to ensure they align their legal and administrative frameworks with international obligations to fight against IUU fishing and establish adequate control mechanisms,” Vella said.
By April 2018, six months after the adoption of the yellow card, Vietnamese authorities are expected to provide a progress report addressing the implementation of the action plan, he said, adding the European Commission will evaluate, including by means of visits to the country, the content of the action plan in light of the shortcomings established in the Commission’s decision of October 23, 2017.
Talking about the possibility of removing the yellow card for Việt Nam, Vella said any decision would follow a careful analysis of the actions undertaken by the authorities to remedy the deficiencies that led to the yellow card.
“The revocation of the yellow card will only be possible if all the mentioned deficiencies are sufficiently addressed,” he said.
In case the situation does not improve, the European Commission may proceed with the identification of the country as non-cooperating in fighting IUU fishing (red card) and submit the proposal to the Council of the European Union to list Viet Nam as non-cooperating in fighting IUU fishing, Vella said. – VNS