Quang Ninh digitizes management of fishing vessels to combat IUU fishing

Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - Controlling the operation of fishing fleets is an effective way to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Quang Ninh provincial authorities have employed digitization and IT to better manage fishing vessels and support fishermen as another step toward persuading the European Commission to remove it’s yellow card warning against Vietnamese seafood.
Quang Ninh digitizes management of fishing vessels to combat IUU fishing - ảnh 1With a smart phone, Quang Ninh fishermen can clear all procedures relating to their offshore operation remotely. (Photo: Truong Giang/VOV)  

The fishing vessel of Nguyen The Phuong in Ha Long commune sets sail 4 times a month on average. Upon departure or arrival, Phuong always informs the fisheries surveillance office at Cai Rong wharf.   

“Prior to departure, we have to ask for permission from the office. During offshore fishing we record our activities including the amount and types of fish caught in a diary which we submit to the office when we return. We also inform the office of our arrival at least one hour earlier. We always try to comply with regulations no matter how busy we are,” said Phuong.

Since January this year, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has begun a pilot program with fishing vessel surveillance software in Quang Ninh. The smart phone app provides the surveillance office with all information about the vessel including its registration, operation, location, and the quantity and types of fish caught. The app also provides storm warnings, recommends shelters, and indicates the location of each vessel in the fleet so they can help each other, according to Bui Phuong Tuyen, a ship owner.

“The software makes is easier for us to clear departure and arrival procedures. It also shows us the locations where fishing is or is not allowed,” said Tuyen.

Quang Ninh digitizes management of fishing vessels to combat IUU fishing - ảnh 2The software provides all information about the operation of Quang Ninh's fishing vessels. (Photo: Truong Giang/VOV)

Quang Ninh now has more than 6,000 fishing vessels. The province is working hard to ensure that all of them are registered, inspected, and granted fishing licenses on the National Fisheries Database (VNFishbase) and that the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is installed on all fishing vessels longer than 15 meters. Luu Van Duy, Secretary of the surveillance office at Cai Rong wharf said that all 300 vessels operating at the wharf have been connected to the surveillance system.

“VMS is an effective tool to help fishermen avoid violations in foreign waters and to help management agencies detect and handle violations in a timely fashion. The software now being piloted saves time in clearing procedures and provides updated and accurate data on the operation of fishing vessels,” said Duy.

After the pilot program is finalized, the software is expected to be used widely in Quang Ninh. Thieu Van Thanh is Deputy Head of the provincial Sub-Directorate of Fisheries.

“We hope to apply the software on all vessels from 6 meters long in Quang Ninh this year. The app is expected to reduce administrative procedures for the people, ease the workload for management agencies and support fishermen’s offshore activities,” said Thanh.

IT application and digitization are expected to help Quang Ninh better manage fishing vessels and fishing activities, fight IUU fishing, and develop long-term aquatic resource development strategies and plans. It will also motivate the development of “Make in Vietnam” digital technology for the fishery industry.