Thailand to usher steps to prevent illegal fishing

Bangkok, Oct 30 (IANS) The Thai government is set to issue an executive decree and other measures next week to deal with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the media reported on Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Thursday said a committee set up to tackle IUU fishing decided on the measures including an executive decree regulating fishing, a fishery management plan and a national plan of action, the Bangkok Post reported.

The committee will seek approval for its plan from the cabinet and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha next week as the country seeks to meet a European Union (EU) deadline in December to clamp down on illegal fishing or risk trade sanctions.

The national plan of action includes installing a vessel monitoring system to track trawlers of over 60 gross tonnage, developing a system of traceability to verify where seafood products come from and legalising the status of migrant workers on fishing trawlers.

The measures also include inspections of seafood processing plants where illegal, trafficked migrant workers may be employed, severe punishments for those who break the law, and seeking cooperation with other countries to solve IUU fishing.

The deputy prime minister said the government will devise measures to help fishing workers, particularly those who go out on heavy trawlers in international waters.

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