Media release from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Vietnamese Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Australia and Vietnam will increase the level of cooperation between the two countries in an effort to combat illegal fishing in the Asia Pacific region.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, and Vietnamese Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ha Cong Tuan, last night extended an already close partnership between both nations by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the APEC meeting in Can Tho, Vietnam today.
“Australia and Vietnam have a long-standing commitment to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” Minister Ruston said.
“We have worked together successfully for over 10 years under the South East Asian Regional Plan of Action to Promote Responsible Fishing Practices Including Combating IUU Fishing.
“I’m proud to extend our relationship by signing this MoU with Vietnam to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing with the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ha Cong Tuan.”
Vice Minister Tuan said the MOU would deepen cooperation and lay the foundation for ongoing partnership between the two governments as they address Australian and Vietnamese flag carrying vessels engaged in IUU fishing.
“Signing of the MOU demonstrates Vietnam’s commitment to work with other countries in the region to combat IUU fishing,” Vice Minister Tuan said.
“The associated public information campaign will also assist regional fishers to better understand international fishing rules and Vietnam will work with Australia to implement this campaign as soon as possible.”
As part of the visit, Minister Ruston and Vice Minister Tuan also welcomed the start of an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country study on regional fisheries policies and regulations.
Minister Ruston said the study would help grow fisheries and the aquaculture sector to benefit local communities, while still taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the global economy.
“Fisheries and aquaculture are an important part of the Vietnamese economy, particularly to the wellbeing of local communities, and so Australia is glad to support the project with a financial contribution of $257,000,” she said.
Minister Ruston is in Vietnam from 22–26 August representing Australia at the APEC ministerial meeting on food security and sustainable agriculture, and delivered a keynote address to APEC food security ministers and business leaders about sustainable food production and agri-business.