Source & Author: European Parliament News
A delegation of the Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament visited Bangkok over the past week in order to obtain a first-hand experience of Thailand’s achievements in fighting against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing and in protecting migrant workers employed by the fishing fleet.
The five-member delegation headed by the First Vice-Chair Linnéa Engström (Greens) with Gabriel Mato (EPP), Ulrike Rodust (S&D), Ricardo Serrao Santos (S&D) and Izaskun Bilbao (ALDE) had a number of high-level meetings with Government Ministers and relevant Thai authorities which spared no effort to welcome the EP delegation and present the newly adopted legislation and enforcement measures.
Members expressed their appreciation for the open and frank exchanges with their counterparts and the constructive cooperation. A number of significant improvements in the Thai fisheries legislation could undoubtedly improve Thailand’s ability to tackle and deter IUU fishing activities in its waters. The Members also witnessed new monitoring, inspection and control infrastructures and facilities such as the CCCIF in Bangkok and the Port-in Port-out Control Center in Samutsakorn, which together with the new infrastructure in place can positively impact Thailand’s ability to comply with its international obligations in the fight against IUU fishing.
On the other hand, the regularisation and protection of migrant workers illegally employed in fisheries still needs additional efforts to be deployed in order to successfully tackle this problem. The delegation was given the opportunity to visit a protection center for victims of trafficking in persons north of Bangkok and met with a number of NGOs actively engaged in Thailand in rescuing and assisting such victims.
Field visits and meetings with stakeholders, such as seafood processing companies and fishermen associations, provided the Members with first-hand information on the challenges and constraints of the Thai fisheries and aquaculture sector.
“For Thailand and the EU it is paramount to continue with this open and constructive dialogue in order to successfully address the global challenges posed by illegal fishing, human trafficking and the exploitation of workers in the fishing industry. The reform of the Thai fisheries legislation and the creation of performing monitoring and control structures go in the right direction and we strongly encourage Thailand to continue on this path”, Members pointed out.
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