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Fishing sector ‘shipshape’ ahead of EU scrutiny

BANGKOK: In a bid to get the European Union’s yellow card lifted from the lucrative fishery sector, Thai authorities have completed the registration of migrant workers ahead of a visit by an EU inspection team.

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By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 3 April 2018, 09:03AM


A fishing trawler heads to sea from a southern port. Government insists there are no more illegal migrants on fishing boats, because all are registered. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

A fishing trawler heads to sea from a southern port. Government insists there are no more illegal migrants on fishing boats, because all are registered. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya told media yesterday (Apr 2) that the Labour Ministry has already completed registering around one million alien fishery workers.

“Thailand no longer has illegal migrants working on commercial trawlers or in fishing-related businesses as we have completed registering them. In addition, we also required them to have their irises scanned for identification purposes. This goes beyond the requirements of the European Union,” Gen Chatchai told the media at the Fisheries Department in Bangkok which is preparing for the team who will arrive tomorrow (Apr 4) to inspect the situation regarding Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Thailand’s fishing industry was yellow-carded by the EU in April 2015.

As well as unsustainable fishing methods, human trafficking has been a major concern of the EU.

Indeed, the labour issue will top the agenda during talks, according to a well-placed source at the Department of Fisheries.

To solve the illegal labour issue, Thai authorities in February ordered the registration of over a million foreign labourers in the fishery sector.

According to the EU’s itinerary, inspectors will randomly visit Port-In/Port-Out (Pipo) centres at major fishery piers along the coastal provinces.

The Pipo centres will provide information about commercial trawlers’ arrivals and departures.

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They will also visit the Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) in Bangkok to ascertain whether the centre is able to deal with trawlers that violate the law.

“What we have accomplished [in regulating and monitoring fisheries and trawlers] will eventually pave the way for sustainable fishing in close cooperation with the EU’s members,” said Gen Chatchai who last week visited Pipo centres in Samut Prakan and Songkhla provinces.

Since being yellow-carded in 2015, Thailand has been trying to clean up and develop its fishery sector.

The Command Centre for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) was established that year under a National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) command for dealing with the problem.

Many measures were implemented, including new laws, the establishment of Pipo centres, vessel monitoring and traceability systems.

Thailand is the world’s third-largest exporter of fish products. Failure to resolve the IUU problem could result in a trade ban on exports to the EU, with an estimated loss to the country of US$300 million (B9.36 billion).

Read original story here.

 

 

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ematt | 13 April 2018 - 13:53:49

Clearly, the EU inspectors should skip their meetings with the Thai officials, and just meet directly with the experts posting here....

Capt B | 12 April 2018 - 23:30:00

I regret to inform you that the comment was not a joke. Yes, allegations & fake news. Usually you will find it is just a game & they want money. Murder is not Slavery & has nothing to do with Slavery. 

malczx7r | 12 April 2018 - 10:57:00

"no slavery in the Thai fishing industry" I hope that comment was a joke, tell that to the many who are murdered and thrown overboard! Allegedly!

Capt B | 11 April 2018 - 06:18:08

...s.  "Zukergerg MK II". Yes indeed, there's nothing like a captive audience. There is a much cheaper option soon to be available with Low Earth Orbit Satellite System. Hi Speed World wide Satellite Wireless faster than fiber optic cable. There is no slavery in the Thai Fishing Industry & never was. The EU should pay for ALL of the The Thai Fisherman's Compliance expenses.

Capt B | 11 April 2018 - 06:12:09

Fishermen are perhaps the last true hunter gatherers. They live by their wits, their unrelenting hard labor and hard won experience. Their hours are not determined by a ticking clock, but by the weather and the habits of their prey. I sincerely hope that the Thai Gov has not signed up to or made any binding agreements with the VMS / Airtime / Satellite Owners Communications & Hardware provider...

Kurt | 03 April 2018 - 13:35:25

I don't believe what thai Officials are saying.
Wait and hear about the findings of the next EU inspections.
EU inspectors look through the thai paperwork as only that satisfy here in Thailand.
I am sure the thai Officials have already a book with excuses, denies, and may be fraud ( misunderstanding) papers stand by to safe face. TIT.

malczx7r | 03 April 2018 - 12:51:54

I thought my countries politicians and ministers were bad, but does anybody actually believe anything that they say here??

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