Thailand’s fishing compliance over 80% completed

Thailand has taken actions on more than 80 per cent of the items required to ensure compliance to the European Union (EU) regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), according to the Fisheries Department.

Waraporn Prompoj, the deputy director-general of the department, said that Thailand has been mainly amending the fishery law and related regulations, taking into account trade partners’ import regulations and conditions as well as traceability. Penalties are clearly defined, with greater severity to prevent repeat violations. The executive decree, supporting these changes, will be announced soon, she said.

All fishing boats will now be required to keep log books, to contain the information of each catch. The supervision would be extended to cover processing factories.

The official said the volume of marine lives caught by Thai fishing boats operating in the Gulf of Thailand is about 30 per cent above seafood production capacity, while the ratio in the Andaman Coast is about 10 per cent. This highlights the need to improve the marine resource management.

During May 1-August 31, the number of vessels reporting to the Port In Port Out units reached 5,211. As of September 8, the department is able to track 2,135 fishing boats through the fishing vessel monitoring system (VMS).

EU Maritime commission inspectors are reviewing the compliance progress this month. It earlier issued a yellow card to Thailand, with a threat to eventually ban imports from Thailand if no actions are taken.