Agriculture Minister prompts seafood law modification

Minster of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat on November 12 said that many regulation of the seafood law 2003 have been outdated and should be revised to the suit development trend of the seafood industry.

Fishermen carrying fish from boats ashore with coracles in Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province (Photo: SGGP)

At a meeting in Hanoi, he affirmed that it is necessary to amend the law and propose the Government and the National Assembly to take it into the lawmaking program in 2017-2018, he said.

Many laws have been amended and implemented from food safety, biodiversity, goods quality, land and sea, forcing the seafood law to have adjustments to ensure the synchrony and comprehensiveness of legal documents and meet requirements in administrative reform and international integration.

According to Mr. Phat, seafood has become a large economic industry with turnover increasing from US$2.6 billion in 2004, when the seafood law took effect, to US$7.92 billion now.

However this has also created challenges in biodiversity and seafood resource protection.

The new law should be built towards tightening nearshore exploitation, which is about 1.6 million tons a year now while it should be 700,000-800,000 tons, and boost offshore fishing together with sea and island territory protection.

Seafood exploitation, farming and exports have faced technical barriers of nations in integration process. So he asked relevant agencies to review regulations and standards to accord with international practice and improve competitiveness.

Deputy Head of the Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Ngoc Oai said that foreign fishing boats have recently violated Vietnamese waters sovereignty. However the country has no sanctions to tackle the issue like other nations, it has mainly driven the foreign boats away.

Hence, the seafood law amendment should more clearly regulate these sanctions, he proposed.

By Phuc Hau – Translated by Hai Mien

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