What Vietnam can learn from Thailand’s fight against illegal fishing

Illegal fishing activities conducted by Vietnamese vessels have spiked during the first six months of 2022, with most boats caught encroaching into the waters of IndonesiaThailand and Malaysia. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing has long been a conundrum for Vietnam. In October 2017, the country was issued with a “yellow card” by the European Commission (EC) to signal a judgement that Vietnam had made inadequate efforts to combat the practice. 

IUU fishing is prevalent in Vietnam for a variety of reasons: catches can bring huge profits to fishers who tend to lack economic opportunities; marine resources in local waters have been depleted, driving Vietnamese fishers into foreign waters; and weak monitoring and legal enforcement allow IUU fishing to flourish. As a result, IUU fishing is widely regarded as a “low-risk, high-return activity”.

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