Thailand pledges further fisheries reforms at 2017 SeaWeb Seafood Summit
By Cliff White for Seafood Source on 22 June 2017,
Thailand has pledged to further strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and labor abuses in its fisheries sector, according to representatives of its government at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. earlier this month.
The Thai delegation was led by its ambassador to the United States, Pisan Manawapat, and was comprised of senior officials from Thai agencies working on IUU and labor issues, including the deputy chief of the Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF), the commissioner of the Thai Office of Legal Affairs and Litigation, senior officials from the Royal Thai Police, the director for foreign affairs of the Department of Fisheries, and the director for labor protection of the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare.
At the summit, the Thai side met with representatives from the International Labour Organization, as well as representatives of several U.S. retailers and NGOs, to discuss anti-IUU measures and labor protection, according to a press release issued by the Thai embassy in Washington D.C.
The Thai delegation also met with representatives of iRespond, a Seattle-based international non-profit technology solutions organization. Following the discussions, the country entered into a contract with the Thai Marine Department on how to use the nonprofit’s IRIS scan software to develop a database of migrants working in Thailand’s fisheries sector.
The delegation used the rest of the summit to update its partners in the private sector, civil society, and those working with international organizations on Thailand’s progress in “achieving fisheries sustainability and ensuring protection of workers’ rights” and sought to strengthen Thailand’s outreach and communications with those working on issues related to seafood sustainability and labor rights, according to the press release.