The program has the participation of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Mr. Phung Duc Tien, Director General of Fisheries- Mr. Tran Dinh Luan, leaders and representatives of specialized departments. On the side of the U.S. Embassy, there were Mr. William Alec Comley - law enforcement program advisor; Mr. Thomas Lyons - Director of International Drug Enforcement and Prevention (INL); Mr. Robert Hanson - Agriculture Counselor and colleagues at the us embassy in hanoi.
Mr. William Alec Comley received a term at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi from January 28th, 2016 up to now with the position as senior advisor of the Law Enforcement Program, U.S. International Drug Enforcement and Prevention (INL), U.S. Department of State in Vietnam. Over the past years, Mr. William Alec Comley has supported the Directorate of Fisheries in developing and implementing technical cooperation programs, training courses to improve fisheries law enforcement capacity, international law and prevention law of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities (IUU fishing.
In addition, he has coordinated with the Directorate of Fisheries to successfully organize the visits and business work with the Law Enforcement Forces of the United States and Thailand in order to exchange experience in the field of investigations, sea patrol, and take measures to protect aquatic resources such as investigation and assessment of aquatic resources and fishing localities.
In recent years, Mr. William Alec Comley has actively promoted the International Department of Drug Prevention and Law Enforcement, the U.S. Department of State to support the investment project to build a fisheries training facility in Phu Quoc for Directorate of Fisheries with a total project cost of USD 1,980,000. This project is expected to be completed and handed over to the Directorate of Fisheries in February 2021. He contacted the United States Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and requested an offering technical assistance to the Directorate of Fisheries in the implementation of the Regulations of the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMM); Implementation Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) of FAO.
In 2020, Mr. William Alec Comley made efforts to promote the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strengthening fisheries law enforcement capacity between the Directorate of Fisheries of Vietnam and U.S. International Drug Enforcement and Prevention.
Recognizing these outstanding and meaningful achievements, leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development decided to award the Medal for Agriculture and Rural Growth to Mr. William Alec Comley for his contributions to agricultural and rural development in Vietnam.
At the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development - Mr. Phung Duc Tien highly appreciated Mr. William Alec Comley's achievements during his time in Vietnam. Especially, his significant contribution for the fisheries sector through activities to enhance capacity to enforce fisheries law, prevent IUU fishing and complete funding procedures for an investment project to build a Fisheries Training Facility in Phu Quoc. The Deputy Minister also acknowledged the efforts and activeness of Mr. William Alec Comley in promoting the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Fisheries Law Enforcement Capacity. The Memorandum of Understanding is the framework for both sides to continue to encourage bilateral activities to help improve relations between Vietnamese and US regulators.
It is understood that Mr. William Alec Comley finished his term in Vietnam at the end of October 2020 and returned to his homeland, the Deputy Minister said that I think he still remembers a nice time with his colleagues and I hope that he will continue to help Vietnam's bilateral cooperation with the United States and the growth of the fisheries sector in Vietnam.
After receiving the Medal, Mr. William Alec Comley also shared his privilege of receiving this noble award from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and said that this is the time to mark 25 years of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the United States, that our two countries have strong relations, that our future is tied togetherThe U.S. government is assisting Vietnam in removing the yellow card of the European Union (EC) and avoiding IUU fishing, and is able to preserve peace security in line with international law in the South China Sea. The U.S. Government wishes to continue collaborating with the Government of Vietnam to strengthen and reinforce the security of fisheries, ensuring that fishermen escape threats at sea.