Thailand rushes to fix illegal fishing after EU ban threat

Thailand rushes to fix illegal fishing after EU ban threat

Thailand is a major exporter of seafood, with yearly revenues of almost 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), and an EU ban — a “red card” — would seriously affect the industry.



By (AP)

Published: Wed 22 Apr 2015, 2:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:40 PM

Bangkok — Thai officials said they were rushing to crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing in a bid to avoid the European Union’s threat to ban seafood import from the country.

The EU on Tuesday gave Thailand, the third-largest seafood exporter, six months to drastically combat illegal and unregulated fishing or face a seafood import ban.

Thailand is a major exporter of seafood, with yearly revenues of almost 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), and an EU ban — a “red card” — would seriously affect the industry. Annual exports to the EU are estimated to be worth between 575 million and 730 million euros.

The EU lifted the threat of similar action against South Korea and the Philippines.

Thailand’s Agriculture Minister Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya said the ministry was seeking a shortcut to speed up the enforcement of the recently passed law regulating the country’s fishing. The law has been passed by the junta-appointed legislature but has not taken effect.

“We are considering either to issue a decree, or to exercise the power under Article 44 to speed up the enforcement of the (new) law because we only have 180 days to work on this,” Petipong told reporters at a news conference.

Apart from law enforcement, the Thai authorities will implement other measures such as a vessel monitoring system that can trace the fishing boats.

The EU will send its first delegation to check on Thailand’s progress on illegal fishing in May. 


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