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BANGKOK 15 October 2018 16:15

EU rap a result of ‘flawed policies’

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EU rap a result of ‘flawed policies’

By Pratch Rujivanarom 
The Nation 



File photo


Despite efforts in meeting IUU fishing standards, the government has failed on several fronts, say groups


CONTINUING MAJOR flaws in the protection of the rights of workers and sustainable fishing policies has kept Thailand on the European Union’s “yellow flag” watch list for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, according to experts.


A source at the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry revealed that the EU has decided to retain the yellow flag for Thailand on IUU fishing.




Activists from the Civil Society’s Coalition for Ethical and Sustainable Seafood (CSO Coalition) said that lack of proper measures to protect the rights of workers in the fisheries sector and ensure sustainable fishing to protect species were the major reasons hindering government efforts to improve Thailand’s rank on IUU fishing – and protect its key seafood market.


The CSO Coalition also discussed the findings of two recent research studies on the situation of migrant workers in the fisheries industry and the impacts of unsustainable fishing on marine natural resources at a press conference in Bangkok yesterday.


The studies found solid evidence of unsolved problems in Thailand’s fisheries sector, said CSO.




The government received kudos from Thai Sea Watch Association president Banjong Nasae for its determination to solve IUU fishing problems.


They had introduced many strict measures to regulate and control Thai fishing fleets, said Banjong.


However, the measures to tackle IUU fishing also contained many flaws and resulted in unsuccessful efforts to improve Thailand’s fisheries to meet EU standards, he said.


“The weak point of the government’s previous IUU fishing mitigation measures was that they only prioritise the regulations for fishing vessels and ignore the policies for promoting sustainable fishing, which are also a very important matter for tackling IUU fishing,” he said.


He emphasised that Thailand’s fisheries could not be sustainable unless the government prohibits the use of destructive fishing equipment such as otter trawling and lit purse seines and issues quotas for catches.


“How can we solve IUU fishing when destructive fisheries are still openly operating?” Banjong asked.


“The government must ban environmentally harmful fishing equipment and come out with sustainable fishing policies based on a sustainable yield from our seas, in order to prevent overfishing and preserve the bounty of the marine ecosystem.”




A CSO Coalition study on the impacts of destructive fishing equipment found that the use of otter trawling and LED lights have cost an estimated Bt145 million in damages to Thailand, as these fishing methods also catch juveniles of many species, including 74 economically important fish, before they get a chance to reproduce.


Prominent migrant workers’ rights defender Suthasinee Kaewleklai said that inadequate rights protection for migrant workers in the fisheries sector had also contributed to the unsatisfactory performance in the mission to end IUU fishing.


“The results of a survey of 300 migrant workers in the fisheries industry from six provinces showed that many migrant workers still have to work in hostile condition for too long hours without proper welfare and protection of their rights,” Suthasinee said.


“We have found that many workers were being illegally taken advantage of by their employers. One in three participants in our survey said they have less than six hours rest per day, and one in five revealed that they have to work for more than 14 hours, which is a clear violation of worker protection laws.”


The government must efficiently enforce worker protection laws, she insisted, as well as encourage business owners to treat their workers justly. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30345668

-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-05-18

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2 hours ago, baboon said:

Indeed. The EU pretend to be concerned, the junta pretend to be doing something about it. Business as usual continues and both sides are happy. The working (wo)man? This is 2018. #### 'em.


The UK introduced new legislation to combat modern day slavery couple of years ago. Requires companies of above a certain small size to report in their annual report what actions they take to ensure they identify and rectify slavery in their supply chains.

The response has been dismal to say the least. Talking about it is one thing. Actually doing something, quite different. The UK government are cranking up the pressure. The US are also keen. I've not read anything about any other EU member state taking action. And as we know, if they leave it to the EU level, bugger all usually happens.

  • Like 1

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1 hour ago, poanoi said:

i know an mp in brussels that are pushing the idea of blocking pensions

to retirees living in thailand in response to the plight of fishermen


That would be reminiscent of the actions of a dictatorial state, a la Nazi Germany or USSR. 


What nationality is the clown who thinks MPs rule rather than serve?

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13 minutes ago, Baerboxer said:


That would be reminiscent of the actions of a dictatorial state, a la Nazi Germany or USSR. 


What nationality is the clown who thinks MPs rule rather than serve?

well, sorry, it was a joke

  • Haha 1

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