Sattahip naval base impounds first fishing boat violating IUU rules

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Officials at the Sattahip Naval Base have reported the first arrest and seizure of a boat under new fishing rules that went into effect July 1.

Following a report that a boat had left the Samae San fishing pier without permission, a patrol boat intercepted the Sinsuwannaree 3 near Koh Sanchalam in Samae San Bay July 21. It, in fact, had been heading back to port due to a leak.

On board naval authorities found three Thai and three Cambodian crewmembers, including Captain Sanong Puangnoy, 53. All were arrested and the boat was brought back to shore and impounded.

The Sinsuwannaree 3 is brought back into port under armed guard for leaving port without a Vessel Monitoring System.The Sinsuwannaree 3 is brought back into port under armed guard for leaving port without a Vessel Monitoring System.

Investigation showed that the Sinsuwannaree did not meet new regulations enacted to bring Thailand into compliance with European Union standards on illegal, unreported and unregistered fishing. The EU earlier this year issued the country a warning that unless it complied with EU rules it could see all Thai seafood exports to Europe banned.

The rules require that boats be properly registered, have legal fishing licenses, have fishing gear matching the type they had at time of registration, and have required monitoring equipment, such as a Vessel Monitoring System.

The impounded boat lacked a VMS and therefore could not get legal clearance to leave port.