EJF acknowledges Thai government’s effort to resolve IUU fishing

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has assured a delegation from the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) of the government’s determination to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing with Asean framework.

Gen Prawit met with EJF delegation, led by executive director Steve Trent, who paid a courtesy call on the deputy prime minister and held discussion on IUU issue and on the update of Thailand’s progress in addressing the IUU issue on Wednesday (March 21).

The UK-based EJF is a non-profit organisation working on environmental and human rights protection. The group has been monitoring fisheries and human rights situation in Thailand after the European Commission issued “yellow card” warning on IUU fishing in 2015.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said the EJF delegation thanked the government for attaching importance to the IUU fishing problem.

The delegation also praised Gen Prawit for his dedication to resolve the fishing problem, he said, adding that the visiting delegation would like to see Thailand playing the leading role in the region in addressing the IUU problem and in cooperating with the EU in tackling this problem.

Gen Prawit briefed the delegation of the progress in the government’s efforts to address the IUU problem which, among others, included the registration of all fishing trawlers which is almost completed; the improvement of following and monitoring of fishing boats in the high sea; and the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to help in the monitoring of fishing fleet.

The deputy prime minister also mentioned the drafting of a bill to ratify the ILO convention; amendments to the law on the management of foreign migrant workers; and registration of foreign migrant workers to be completed within the end of this month as well as the use of PromptPay system to transfer the workers’ pay directly into their bank accounts.