The Thai Government is planning to demolish 861 unregistered fishing vessels by mid-December.
(Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai Government is planning to demolish 861 unregistered fishing vessels by mid-December as part of efforts to improve the status of local fishery fleets and remove punishment from the European Commission (EC) on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The vessels will be destroyed in order to clear up confusion about vessel identification, update the Thai fishing vessels’ registry, and to ensure the boats will not be used illegally.

As of August, Thailand had more than 10,700 “white vessels” or registered fishing vessels while 6,300 vessels are still unregistered.

A meeting on the issue will be held between the Thai Government and the EC in September.

The government hopes that its efforts in the fight against illegal fishing will help persuade the EC to remove “yellow card” on Thai seafood. Each year, Thailand earns up to 500 million USD from seafood shipments to European countries.

In May, the EC decided not to upgrade Thailand’s anti-IUU ratings but keep “yellow card” for Thailand due to the country’s poor management of fishing trawlers and law enforcement, the Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry said.

The EC apparently found discrepancies in boat categorisation at the Marine Department and expects to see strict law enforcement, efficient management of administrative orders and clear timeframes.

The ministry said that the EC wanted Thailand to achieve visible progress within four months.

Since 2015, Thailand has been slapped with a “yellow card” for “shortcomings in its fisheries monitoring, controlling and sanctioning systems”. If the EC issues a red card, Thailand’s seafood exports will be banned in EU member countries.

Last month, Indonesian authority also destroyed and sank a total of 125 boats, mostly owned by foreigners, for illegal fishing in the country’s waters. Since 2014, Indonesia has sunk 488 violating fishing boats.-VNA