Fishery gears up to meet IUU regulations

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

The fishery 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 (EU).

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 (EC).

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 coordinate with the EC’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to deal with these hurdles.

Vietnam has recently stepped up aquaculture, especially the raising of fish, shrimp and molluscs, along with boosting the netting of aquatic products from the natural environment.

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 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

During the reviewed period, Vietnam raked in US$3.98 billion  from the export of the products. The nation is expanding outlets to Latin America and the Middle East besides maintaining traditional key markets of the US, Japan and the EU.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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