Excerts from the weekly National Broadcast addressed by Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (ret.) 25 December 2015
We especially need to focus on sustainable development in the fishing industry as well as prevent and tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU). All documents concerning imports and exports of seafood products will be thoroughly scanned as well as other documents such as fishing licenses. These documents will also need to be verified. We will emphasize on R&D, marine resources assessment, and marine resources management.
I’m concerned about the fishery industry regarding the progress inspection that will take place around January 20th by a committee on IUU issues. We must acknowledge the faults that have existed for a long time, and establish a clear agenda regarding legislation, management, punishment, care for victims and continuous cross-the-board monitoring of the fishing industry. Let’s see what the committee wants us to focus on, especially what needs to be carried out in the early stages. We will do our best, particularly to handle all the necessary issues, especially within the short time frame given. I want people to see for themselves how we have been really committed to solving this issue.
Regarding violations in the fishing industry, I don't want everyone to just focus on issues at sea, because the trade of fishing products is also conducted on land, especially in Thailand. There are purchases from piers, shrimp and fish processing factories in the industrial sector which requires large numbers of workers. These issues need to be addressed and I have ordered the Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) to take direct responsibility in hand with the NCPO. A progress report must be made to me on a weekly basis as well as the progress report on solving land and maritime issues and necessary steps in addressing IUU fishing.
I also want to advise vessels over 60 gross tons to strictly abide by regulations. Vessels under 60 gross tons must have proper licensing and equipment. As for small-scale fishing activities of local communities, I would like to ask for cooperation in terms of the fishing equipment they are using and to not resort to confrontations with officials. I’m indeed empathizing with the concerns of those who need to earn a living but we need to be conscious of our natural resources. As for fishing in international waters, I ask all to abide by international regulations, otherwise our fishing products will not be allowed in other countries.
Today, we must expand our trade and investment with the Pacific Island states, and look for fishing resources in cooperation with other regions.
A Reflection on Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019
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