BANGKOK, 22 April 2015 -On 21 April 2015, the European Union (EU) has issued a yellow card to Thailand.
Although the yellow card does not introduce trade sanctions on European imports of Thai fishery products, it is a source of grave discouragement that the EU has chosen to ignore the very earnest efforts of the past six months by the Royal Thai Government in addressing all issues which once were deemed the causes of IUU fishing.
Thailand is deeply disappointed by the EU’s decision. The Royal Thai Government is now firmly dealing with the issue. It matches words with deeds involving structural changes, law amendments and the passage of new laws, prosecutions, and preventive measures. More importantly, the EU’s decision reflects its failure to recognise the longstanding cooperation between Thailand and the EU’s competent authorities.
Thailand calls on the EU to take into account Thailand’s substantial and tangible progress in combating IUU fishing. The EU’s assessment must be transparent, fair, non-discriminatory, and based on accurate facts and the latest developments.
Thailand will continue to cooperate with the EU to combat IUU activities and promote sustainable fishing. In light of the progress made and the Thai government’s genuine intention, Thailand urges the EU to withdraw the yellow card at the earliest opportunity.
The Royal Thai Government takes allegations of IUU fishing very seriously, and has done so for years. Efforts to tackle illegal fishing and improve the sustainable management of the marine and aquaculture environment are a top political priority. These efforts will continue and are led by Thai officials at the highest levels of government.