BANGKOK, 17 July 2015 – Deputy Prime Minister for national security Gen Prawit Wongsuwan was confident that four months of hard work by Thai authorities to combat IUU fishing would satisfy the European Commission (EU), and possibly rid Thailand of the yellow-card warning.
His optimism came after a meeting on IUU Fishing Suppression that he chaired on Friday. He said during the past four months, Thai authorities have worked so hard to meet the EU’s six-month deadline to shut down illegal fishing practices.
Legal amendment is a big part left incomplete so far, he added, saying that the government would set up a consultant team to proof words and their usage in the revised law. This will be done in parallel with raising understanding of NGOs and foreign countries towards the progress of the measures Thailand has taken.
Gen Prawit highlighted that a progress in the government’s efforts was a reduction in the number of illegal fishing vessels from 7,000 previously to 3,000. As for unlicensed ships which are unable to bring the boat out to the sea, the government has assigned the Royal Thai Navy to discuss possible solutions with them.
Also attending the Friday’s meeting, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Amnuay Patise revealed the progress of solutions made by each unit was closely monitored to make sure the measures strictly follow the roadmap. He said the meeting was satisfied with the progress, and he believed that the EU would give higher scores to the Thai efforts.
The EU will review Thailand’s ranking after it has received a new report from the Thai government in September and is expected to spend a month before giving a new scoring.
The Deputy Minister noted that other countries that used to face the same problems as Thailand spent at least a year to clean up all the problems. Solutions that involve a structural change in the fishery sector would therefore be forwarded to next government for solving, he emphasized.