Thailand yellow card will be removed soon, EJF's Trent says

Published on
December 5, 2016

Prominent social and environmental rights activist Steve Trent has said Thailand will be removed from the European Union’s “IUU Report” as soon as the E.U. realizes how much progress the country has made in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Trent, the executive director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, made his comment following a meeting with Thailand Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikulya during the Asia Regional Conference on Building Ocean Health, which took place in Seoul, South Korea last week, The Nation reported.

Thailand was given a yellow card in April 2015 and is still operating with that status, which is the E.U.’s harshest warning before it initiates trade sanctions.

“Thailand will succeed in getting a green card after being given yellow-card status almost two years ago,” Trent said. “But I don’t know when, and the E.U. would like to see long-lasting measures for sustainable fishing.”

Thailand has demonstrated “real commitment” to tackling IUU fishing by creating new laws and a new system of regulation specifically for its commercial fishing industry, Trent told The Nation. He said the E.U. needs time to determine the effectiveness of the reforms, and wants to see even more progress, including the adoption of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Working in Fishing Convention 188.

Adisorn Promthep, director-general of the Fisheries Department, told The Nation the Thai government takes IUU and sustainable fishery issues “very seriously” and has worked closely with the E.U. and international organizations to solve problems surrounding illegal fishing.

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