Thailand reinforces zero IUU intention
A high-level Thai delegation to Seafood Expo Global reinforced the country’s commitment to become IUU free in the near future.
Thailand received a yellow card warning from the European Commission in 2015, after the commission said the Southeast Asian nation had not taken sufficient measures to tackle its problems with illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
“We have one of the most advanced reformed fisheries laws in the world, that is helping us to achieve our aim, but our challenge is to reform the way that the wider industry thinks,” Adisorn Promthep, the director-general of Thailand's Department of Fisheries, said at the expo on Tuesday, 24 April. “People who are used to doing things in a particular way can find it difficult to change, but we are working hard to generate a new way of thinking and a better understanding by fishermen that their industry needs to be carried out in a sustainable and ethical manner."
Since 2016, Thailand has initiated a complete reform of its fisheries law, policy framework, and monitoring and control systems, and introduced an e-licensing system. In addition, the number of sea patrols has been increased, greater attention paid to inspection of labor at sea and in processing factories, and the Thai police is working to bring offenders to justice.
“Well over 4,000 cases have been brought to court for violations related to IUU, labour, non-compliance of fishing vessels and human trafficking, with heavy fines and prison sentences where appropriate,” Promthep said.
Thailand’s aim is for the international community to recognise its efforts to build a more sustainable, environmental and socially friendly fisheries and seafood industry, which protects global marine resources for future generations.
“We are determined to continue fighting IUU and driving positive change,” he said.