Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Prawit Wongsuwon (Source: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – As Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2019, Thailand will make eradicating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing a priority, said Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Prawit Wongsuwon.

According to Gen Prawit, one of the steps to be taken is setting up an ASEAN regional mechanism to suppress IUU and share related information.

Thailand will encourage ASEAN members to adopt the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) to eradicate illegal trawlers, he said.

These remarks were quoted by The Bangkok Post, when Prawit addressed a forum on IUU fishing on June 5, calling on the United Nations to make IUU fishing an environmental crime.

Chief of the Department of Fisheries Adisorn Promthep said since receiving ‘yellow card’ from the European Union for IUU infringements in 2015, his country has worked hard to reform its fisheries sector and marine ecosystems around Thailand have already begun to recover.

More than 22,000 small fishing boats and about 10,600 large trawlers are in operation in the country.

Over the past 12 months, the operators of 223 small fishing boats and 226 large – commercial ones have been charged with IUU offences.-VNA