Photo: Lekima Hung

Ha Noi, 02 December 2021 – The Viet Nam Institute of Fisheries, Economics and Planning (VIFEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam have organised a workshop entitled “Reducing Plastic Waste in the Fisheries Sector, Promoting Circular Economy and Moving Towards Blue Economy.”

The workshop aimed to share and exchange information the role of the fishery sector in developing a blue economy, and the current situation of plastic waste in the fishery sector; propose solutions to reduce, collect, and recycle waste from fishing vessels; and create a directory for specific interventions at Quy Nhon Fishing Port under an upcoming project between UNDP and Binh Dinh province.

According to the State of the National Sea and Island Environment Report for the 2016-2020 period, released by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in early August 2021, plastic waste, including marine plastic waste, is an emerging global issue. It is estimated that more than 70 - 80% of marine plastic waste originates from the land. The rest is released directly into the sea, mainly from fishing activities such as lost or discarded fishing gear, which are deadly to marine life and make up the majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans.

Viet Nam is a country with a long coastline considered to hold high potential for marine economic development. However, it also discharges a high amount of plastic waste into the sea every year. At the Quy Nhon Fishing Port in Binh Dinh province alone, no fishing boats have waste collection equipment or bring their waste back to shore.

According to VIFEP director Dr. Nguyen Thanh Tung, who spoke at the workshop, “In the production phase, the fishery sector needs to use plastic materials. Plastic waste generated during seafood processing is also being discharged into the environment. Therefore, plastic waste from this process needs to be collected and considered as a resource to be recycled and reused.”

According to the National Action Plan on the Management of Marine Plastic Debris, by 2030 Viet Nam must reduce 75% of its ocean plastic waste, including all lost or discarded fishing gear, as well as clear all plastic waste from protected areas. 100% of resorts, tourist attractions, accommodations, and other services along the coast will also no longer use single-use plastic products or non-degradable plastic bags.

In order to reduce plastic waste from the fishery sector and move forward towards a blue economy, it is essential to apply circular economy principles.

Mr. Dao Xuan Lai, Head of the Climate Change and Environment Unit at UNDP Viet Nam, stressed: “In order to mitigate marine plastic waste, develop a blue economy, and promote a circular economy, Viet Nam needs to implement several measures in parallel, such as raising awareness, strengthening policies and legal frameworks, transferring technology, and mobilizing international and domestic resources.” He added that this workshop would provide “important inputs for UNDP and the People’s Committees of Binh Dinh and Quy Nhon to develop and implement effective models to collect waste from fishing boats and at the Quy Nhon Fishing Port”.

At the workshop, experts proposed a model to collect and recycle plastic waste from fishing vessels to be piloted at the Quy Nhon Fishing Port. The proposals included (i) technical support to enable fishing vessels to store waste during journeys , (ii) development of local regulations to encourage fishing vessels to bring waste back to shore, and (iii) establishment of a collection system at fishing ports once the waste is brought back to port, with transfer later to material recovery facilities in Quy Nhon City for further processing and recycling.

Online and offline participants included representatives of the Viet Nam Administration of Seas and Islands, the Directorate of Fisheries,  the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Dinh, Quang Ninh, and Da Nang, the Quy Nhon City People's Committee, the Quy Nhon and Tho Xuan Fishing Port Management Boards, the Binh Dinh Department of Natural Resources and Environment, international organizations and NGOs such as WWF, NPAP, UNIDO, JICA, GIZ, and Oxfam, and experts.

For more information, please contact:

Phan Huong Giang | CCE Media & Communications Analyst, UNDP Viet Nam
Ph. +84 24 38500136 |

Hoang Thanh Vinh | Programme Analyst, UNDP Viet Nam

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