Yellow card for Thailand

21 Apr 2015
Karmenu Vella is urging Thailand to join the European Union in the fight for sustainable fisheries

Karmenu Vella is urging Thailand to join the European Union in the fight for sustainable fisheries

Thailand has been put on formal notice by the European Commission for not taking sufficient measures in the international fight against illegal fishing (IUU).

As a result of a thorough analysis and a series of discussions with Thai authorities since 2011, the Commission has denounced the country's shortcomings in its fisheries monitoring, control and sanctioning systems and concludes that Thailand is not doing enough.

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said, “Our EU rigorous policy on a harmful practice such as illegal fishing, together with our genuine capacity to act, is paying off. I urge Thailand to join the European Union in the fight for sustainable fisheries. Failure to take strong action against illegal fishing will carry consequences.”

This decision is the start of a formal procedure of dialogue with the Thai authorities to make them take the necessary corrective measures. They will be given six months to implement a corrective tailor-made action plan.

Should the situation not improve, the EU could resort to banning fisheries imports from Thailand.

The Thai government has said that it is “deeply disappointed” with the decision and that the EU has chosen to “ignore the very earnest efforts of the past six months by the Royal Thai Government in addressing all issues which once were deemed the causes of IUU fishing.”

Thailand is calling on the EU to take into account the country’s “substantial and tangible progress in combatting IUU fishing”. Thailand says it will continue to cooperate with the EU, and is urging the EU to remove the yellow card at the earliest opportunity.

The EC has also announced that Korea and the Philippines have carried out appropriate reforms of their legal systems and are now equipped to tackle illegal fishing. As a result, the EC has ended the ‘identification’ procedure that had started with a yellow card to Korea in November 2013 and the Philippines in June 2014. 

 

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