EJF warns Thai government it must continue fighting against illegal fishing

Posted By Stop Illegal Fishing:8th Jan, 2019: Impacts of Illegal Fishing

The non-governmental organization Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) celebrates the European Commission decision on lifting the yellow card placed on Thailand`s seafood industry, but it warns that this Asian country must still make more improvements to control illegal fishing

Although EJF considers that some deficiencies still exist that prevent the Thai fishing industry from being truly ethical and sustainable, it recognizes that there have been significant and substantial improvements in Thailand’s monitoring, surveillance, and enforcement capabilities, as it has worked closely with the Thai Government since 2015 on tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

On-the-ground investigations have shown good progress, including the use of covert patrol vessels to combat non-compliance among vessel operators and intercept illegal fishing boats.

“Thailand has made significant progress in ensuring that fishing vessels are compliant with new fisheries legislation through the use of monitoring technologies, inspection regimes, and undercover enforcement efforts,” Steve Trent, Executive Director of EJF, said. “The country must now implement measures that will drive home this change to showcase Thailand as a regional and international leader in sustainable fisheries management.”

EJF commends recent progress in identifying fishing vessels that could be phased out, however, it is crucial that the Royal Thai Government commits to a time-bound vessel decommissioning programme.

The organization hightlights that PIPO network (‘Port in Port out’) is a powerful tool to combat both illegal fishing and associated labor abuses. All fishing vessels of more than 30 gross tons must inform their local PIPO center before and after each fishing trip, so that the authorities carry out the relevant inspections.

“EJF also praises the outstanding leadership of the European Commission in combatting illegal fishing in Thailand and across the world. Without the extensive, bold and progressive efforts initiated by the EU Commission and a small dedicated team there, much and possibly most of the progress we have seen in addressing highly damaging illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing would not have been realised. Europe can be rightly proud of the leadership it has shown,” concluded Trent.

Source: FIS

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