The international conference “International and Vietnamese legal framework for sustainable and responsible fishing”

On July 15th2022, the University of Economics and Law (UEL), the Delegation Wallonie-Bruxelles in Vietnam and University of Liège, Belgium organized the international conference on “International and Vietnamese legal framework for sustainable and responsible fishing”. 

Within the conference, the aquatic products exported to Europe (EU) do not meet their requirements on IUU, the EU will penalize a yellow card, then the export turnover and value of aquatic products will be severely reduced. Since 2003, the EUhas imposed yellow cards on aquatic products from Belize, Cambodia, Guinea, South Korea, the Philippines (2014), Thailand (2015) and Vietnam (October 23rd, 2017). As a result, the fishermen’s lives will face many difficulties and the strategy to protect maritime sovereignty is also affected. Therefore, seeking solutions to remove yellow cards and avoid the risk of being penalized for red cards is an urgent requirement of the Government, ministries, branches in general and Vietnam’s marine product industry in particular.

The conference attracted over 200 reliable delegates, experts, scientists and managers in legal, economic, political fields from Vietnam, the Republic of Ireland and the Kingdom of Belgium. With the participation of leading speakers, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Trang Nhung from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Mr. Ngo Tat Thang - Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Quang Ninh, Mr. Quang Trong Thao - Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Kien Giang and Mrs. Pham Thi Na - Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ba Ria - Vung Tau; Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam of VASEP; Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Tien Dung - Former President of University of Economics and Law, Prof. Philip Vincent of University of Liege and Assoc. Prof. Le Vu Nam - Vice President of University of Economics and Law. 

In the opening ceremony, Assoc. Prof. Le Vu Nam declared that this international scientific conference was a forum for domestic and international scientists to discuss legal issues, economic, commercial matters of manufacturing, managing, protecting aquatic resources as well as the experiences on how to remove the “yellow card”. This international conference would help the University of Economics and Law to collect all proposed suggestions from experts and researchers to recommend the Government, and other relevant state agencies several best solutions to remove the yellow card for Vietnam’s marine products industry.

After that, Mr. Nicolas Dervaux - on behalf of the Wallonie-Bruxelles in Vietnam said that this conference would help the Vietnamese legal system in producing sustainable fishing. This activity would change the thought and attitude of Vietnamese fishermen on practicing aquatic exploitation appropriately with law. 

When becoming a pioneering area in building and applying protective solutions to get rid of illegal unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), the EU enacted IUU strategy to complete the fishing policy of the EU in controlling products that originated from IUU exporting to the EU market. The EU has warned 26 countries including Vietnam of yellow and red cards. After being warned of yellow card on October 23rd 2017, Vietnam has quickly found solutions from promulgating to enforcing law on managing, exploiting and protecting aquatic resources to meet the requirements of IUU to remove yellow card. Vietnam is also determined to develop a Vietnamese responsible, modern and sustainable marine products industry.

There were four sections with eight presentations presented by different experts. These presentations received many suggestions from the participants. On the next day, July 16th 2022, the University of Economics and Law had a meeting with Prof. Laurie Nicola O’Keeffe on suggesting upcoming solutions for marine products. This will not be the first step, but a better way to help not only Vietnamese marine product industry and fishermen, but also other countries in the region achieve their main goal. 

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