Thailand-based fisheries association threatens protests over IUU rules
The National Fisheries Association of Thailand is threatening protests against the government in the wake of measures by the government to curb illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
According to the Bangkok Post, the association members are threatening to camp out in front of Thailand's Agriculture Ministry due to rules implemented in the last five years. Those rules partially stemmed from the issuance of a yellow card by the European Union – which was lifted in January – that the country received in 2015 in response to the lack of effective sanctions to prevent IUU fishing.
Those new rules have caused a shortage of workers, forcing operators out of business, association president Mongkol Sukcharoenkhana told the Bangkok Post.
"If these laws aren't changed, the fishermen will head to Bangkok and camp out in front of the Agriculture Ministry," he told the paper.
Department of Fisheries Director-General Adisorn Phromthep said the new rules are necessary to bring sustainability, and are crucial to ensure transparency and sustainability.
Fishermen in the Nakhon Si Thammarat region are also threatening protests against their provincial governor if he doesn’t act to allow them to fish legally off the coast, according to The Thaiger.
Fishermen said that they are being harassed by officials accusing them of using illegal gear, accusations they deny. Fishermen claim that the officials are colluding with a local businessman to set up aquaculture in the areas they fish.