BANGKOK – A source at the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry revealed on Wednesday, that the European Union has decided to keep a yellow card for Thailand over the country’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing problems.
According to the source Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach has already been informed of the results from the EU’s review of Thailand’s performance.
A delegation from the EU visited Thailand last month to discuss Anti-IUU efforts.
“Two issues behind the EU decision to not upgrade Thailand’s Anti-IUU ratings are fleet management and laws enforcement,” the source said.
The EU apparently found discrepancies in boat categorization at the Marine Department and expects to see strict laws enforcement, efficient management of administrative orders and clear time-frames.
The source said the EU wanted Thailand to achieve visible progress within four months.
Since 2015, Thailand has been slapped with a yellow flag for “shortcomings in its fisheries monitoring, control and sanctioning systems”. If the EU were to issue a red flag, Thailand’s seafood exports would be banned by EU members.
Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya, who oversees a subcommittee on solutions to IUU, said the Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) needed to upgrade its operations and staff.
“I have also assigned the Command Centre for Combating Illegal Fishing to send five staff to the FMC to help train and monitor the workforce there over the next three months,” Chatchai said.
He said he also instructed the legal authorities, from the police to public prosecutors and courts, to boost coordination and efficiency.
“I expect to get clear and positive results by July,” Chatchai said.