Pacific leaders urged to pressure Vietnam over illegal fishing

By VnExpress   May 4, 2017 | 08:13 pm GMT+7

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency asked regional leaders to give Vietnam ‘a clear message’ about repeated offenses.

Vietnam is set to face stronger pressure from Pacific countries about its fishermen repeatedly poaching marine resources in the area, Radio New Zealand reported.

Government officials from the affected countries – the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands  were in Australia this week to attend a Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency meeting where they were urged to increase pressure on Vietnam to take responsibility for the poaching.

James Movick, the agency’s director general, said Pacific leaders should push as far as their diplomatic engagements allow to give the Vietnamese government “a clear message”.

The report said Vietnam had been receptive to complaints from Australia about the poaching, but dismissive of those from Pacific countries.

Dozens of Vietnamese fishermen have been caught fishing illegally in the area in recent months.

In March alone, 43 Vietnamese were caught fishing illegally off a reef system in the Solomon Islands, while 50 others were fined $6,300-47,000 each for illegally harvesting sea cucumbers in Papua New Guinea. They will face four years hard labor if they fail to pay.