Vietnam is at risk of being imposed with red card and restricted from exporting seafood to the EU and other important markets

The Royal Thai Navy arrested Vietnamese fishermen on a fishing boat in Narathiwat province on June 21, 2021 (AFP)

RFA: Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang noted that the upcoming fifth inspection by the European Commission (EC) is an opportunity for Vietnam to remove the yellow card for exported seafood, even considering the option of banning the sea.

On February 5, Quang chaired an online meeting with 28 coastal provinces and cities on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) seafood.

He said that the EC will conduct an upcoming inspection in April 2024 and it will be the last opportunity for Vietnam to remove its yellow card before the European Union (EU) conducts elections, so it is very necessary to total solution, creating real changes in the fight against IUU to remove the yellow card as soon as possible.

If not, it will take many more years and there is even a risk of having the red card and being restricted from exporting seafood to the EU and other important markets.


The Government website quoted Quang’s statement as saying that, through the fourth inspection in October 2023, the EC inspection team assessed that Vietnam had many positive changes but the situation of fishing vessels violating foreign waters still remained; The origin of exported seafood and fishing vessels has not been well controlled; Law enforcement, including penalties for fishing vessels losing connection, is still limited.

Director of the Fisheries Surveillance Department Nguyen Quang Hung added that since October last year, there have been 17 ships with 190 fishermen arrested by other countries.

In addition, the whole country still has about 15,198 fishing boats with three-no (unregistered, uninspected, unlicensed).

Disconnection of fishing vessel monitoring equipment (VMS) continues to be common, from the beginning of 2023 until now, there have been nearly 5,000 ships losing connection for more than 10 days.

Besides, according to Nguyen Quang Hung, the practice of sending VMS devices to other fishing vessels to avoid monitoring by management agencies is becoming complicated.


In many localities, quality control of catch logs for seafood traceability is still not guaranteed according to regulations.

Deputy PM Quang emphasized that there is very little time left (about three more months), so Vietnam must concentrate all our efforts and open the “peak of the peak” with the highest goal of removing the yellow card after the upcoming fifth inspection, which focuses on two things: not allowing fishing vessels to be arrested abroad and strictly handling violations, without exception, including acts of organizing and brokering illegal exit, and using illegal explosive materials in fishing.

He also noted that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to develop a sustainable fisheries plan, taking into account the possibility of banning the sea to protect and regenerate fishing grounds and support fishermen when implement fishing ban.


Kasse animation 7.8.2023