Thai Shrimp Association fears EU may ban Thai fisheries products


The Thai Shrimp Association urged the Department of Fisheries to tackle illegal fishing; otherwise, the European Union (EU) may ban Thai fishery products.

Somsak Paneetatayasai, association president, said fishing operators expected the EU to issue a “yellow card” to impose a close watch on Thailand for failing to strictly tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing concerning the human rights of fishing laborers.

Unless Thailand makes real progress toward a solution in six months, the EU can issue a “red card” to ban fishery products from Thailand altogether.

The Thai Shrimp Association president said the Department of Fisheries should amend laws relating to fisheries, enforce them strictly and inform trading partners that Thailand is taking action to develop sustainable fisheries that comply with international laws and principles.

Somsak said that if the EU bans Thai fishery products, frozen fresh shrimp and shrimp-based products would be directly affected. The volume of Thai shrimp exports has plunged by over 50 percent due to diseases, including early mortality syndrome (EMS), since 2012.

The yield of Thai shrimp dropped from 540,000 tons to 250,000 tons in 2013. The value of shrimp exports fell from US$3.1 billion (about Bt92.25 billion) to US$2.2 billion (about Bt65.07 billion).

From January to August this year, the value of Thai shrimp exports amounted to Bt36.9 billion, dropping from Bt41.8 billion in the same period last year.