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BANGKOK 21 July 2019 16:26
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Government: Fisheries Act benefits Thailand

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Government: Fisheries Act benefits Thailand

 

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BANGKOK (NNT) - The Deputy Government Spokesman, Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak, has urged the general public to consider carefully whether amending sections 34, 69, and 81 of the Fisheries Act of 2015 as suggested by the Future Forward Party leader, Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit, would be beneficial or detrimental to the country’s marine resources and human trafficking problem. On June 15, the Future Forward leader visited Trat province to listen to concerns raised by some local fishermen.

 

"Visiting different areas or gaining political advantage outside Parliament (by the Future Forward member) can involuntarily affect the stability of the country’s natural resources and coastal economy. If you actually study the law, scrapping Section 81 would cause the fisheries sector to be out of control as in the past. If there’s no Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), we wouldn’t know whether the fishing trawlers were violating the law. This is an international regulation," Lt. Gen. Werachon said.

 

The Deputy Government Spokesman said that having a logbook will help authorities trace the origins of seafood products and the information can be used for scheduling purposes, while the Port-In Port-Out Control (PIPO) centers, will help officials identify the status of each worker as part of measures against human trafficking.

 

Under Section 69, anchovy fishing is prohibited at night. This is to prevent the depletion of anchovies and other such marine resources.

 

Section 34 prohibits local fishermen from conducting fishing operations outside their coastal areas. Currently, the section has not been completely enforced, but the government and the local fishermen are working together to come up with a solution that benefits all sides.

 

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-- © Copyright nnt 2019-06-18

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Thanathorn went and meet the fishermen and heard their problems. Have you done the same Khun Lt Gen Werachon?

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23 hours ago, webfact said:

If you actually study the law, scrapping Section 81 would cause the fisheries sector to be out of control as in the past. If there’s no Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), we wouldn’t know whether the fishing trawlers were violating the law.

In the only version of the Act that I could find online (translation by Doungpornna Pombejra, The legal Affairs Divisions Department of Fisheries http://extwprlegs1.fao.org/docs/pdf/tha159734.pdf

shows Section 81 as:

  • In the case where any person who harvest or erect the fishing gears /appliances, structures or anything in fishing grounds in contravention with this Act, the competent official shall have the power to remove or demolish such fishing gear/appliance, or anything  immediately.

Certainly allowing prohibited fishing gear, etc. would invalidate Section 81. But that doesn't mean there can't be some phase in period to its removal that could demonstrate compliance with the spirit of the law. This would necessitate further discussions with the fishery industry, the government and likely the EU.

Section 81 has no relevance to VSM. This is likely required under separate laws passed in conjunction with the Fisheries Act. Suffice to say that it applies only to operating in international waters (presumably outside Thailand's EEZ). http://www.thaiembassy.org/warsaw/en/information/65449-Thailands-Fisheries-Reform-Progress.html

If Thailand fishery operations cannot operate in compliance with international standards and fisheries regulations, then the entire Act is invalidated. Again, the government should discuss possible industry phase in of VSM that doesn't present a substantial economic burden on the fishery vessel owners. For example, the government did authorize a vessel buy-back scheme of illegal fishing vessels over a 2-3 budgetary years period.

An elected MP would be doing his duty to speak to vessel operators within his constituency and with relevant government officials about issues such as VSM to assure a smooth transition of the industry to IUU compliance. 

 

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