Urgent Action to Ease Problems in Thailand’s Fishing Industry
The Government has taken urgent action to tackle problems in the fishing industry and to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in order to ensure the management of fishery resources in a balanced and sustainable manner.
The Prime Minister called for cooperation on this issue and better understanding of the Government’s measures to ease the problems. At the same time, it intends to help those affected by these measures, which have been introduced to allow local fishing operators and entrepreneurs to adjust themselves to the new situation.
Today, more fishing boats have legal fishing tools and meet other requirements. He said that using outlawed fishing equipment might destroy the balance of marine resources. And as a result, small marine animals would disappear from the sea. The Prime Minister said that he had heard that local fishermen were now able to catch more fish and that they were more satisfied and earning more income.
The Thai government earlier set 1 July 2015 as the deadline for operators of fishing trawlers to comply with IUU regulations. He said that many fishing boats had registered with the Government, as required, and that in order to facilitate their registration, the Government even sent floating platforms to register them at sea. Most of the fishing operators affected by the new regulations are those who have used unauthorized equipment. Licenses would not be issued for this group of fishermen.
Regarding related businesses, the Prime Minister said that, since more fishing boats have been allowed to return to the sea, more fish have now been caught and impacts on the price of seafood have eased. The Government is also conducting a survey of fishing vessels in order to collect up-to-date information. The survey is meant to find the “maximum sustainable yield” to help create a balance between the use of fishery resources and the volume of existing fishery resources. This information will enable the authorities to issue licenses in accordance with the volume of existing marine resources. This will ensure fishing operations in a systematic manner and on a sustainable basis.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently organized a seminar on the topic “Fishing for the Future: Toward Responsible and Sustainable Fisheries in Thailand.” The seminar aimed to create a better understanding and knowledge about responsible and sustainable fisheries and raise awareness of the importance of this issue across all sectors of Thai society.
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