The European Commission announced today that it will be lifting the ‘yellow card’ it placed on Thailand’s seafood industry. The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has worked closely with the Royal Thai Government since 2015 on tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Although there has been significant progress, important gaps remain, the organisation says.
The commission’s yellow card is a formal warning for the fishing industry that can lead to import bans to the EU. This is a serious issue in Thailand, where seafood exports run to millions of tonnes, and in 2016 alone were worth US$ 5.8 billion.
There have been significant and substantial improvements in Thailand’s monitoring, surveillance, and enforcement capabilities, EJF has found. On-the-ground investigations have shown good progress, including innovative efforts such as the use of covert patrol vessels to combat non-compliance among vessel operators and intercept illegal fishing boats.
Thailand has also shown crucial regional leadership in becoming the first country in Asia to ratify the Work in Fishing Convention C188, which sets basic standards of decent work in the fishing industry. It is vital that ratification of the convention proceeds as planned at the end of January.