June 17, 2019 — Thailand’s Seafood Task Force and Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CPF) fully support plan to develop sustainable fishing gears and improve a monitoring process, which engages to sustainable fishing against Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU).
Dr. Sujint Thammasart DVM, Chief Operating Officer – Aquaculture Business of CP Foods, said the company has collaborated with the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand to set up a working committee for exploring new fishing technologies and innovations to combat IUU. The committee comprises of several parties including government agencies, associations, academia, and private sectors to develop a sustainable fishing platform for Thai seafood industry.
He also mentioned that the initiative will assist Thailand to improve its protocol on IUU fishing prevention, which will consequently support a joint statement of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The international organizations are calling all sectors to work together to end the exploitation of marine resources as well as laborers who work in the industry.
A delegation of Thai fishermen, vessel owners, government officials, academics & CP Foods representatives recently visited Brixham, one of the busiest fishing ports in the United Kingdom, to gather information about sustainable fishing practices & innovations such as larger mesh sizes to allow juvenile fish to escape as well as balloon trawl that could be applied to fishing industry in Thailand.
“We have to find a way to save marine life away from all illegal fishing practices. With modified fishing devices, we hope that discards and unwanted bycatch will be significantly dropped by 50%,” said Dr.Sujint.
The visit hosted by Waterdance, UK fishing company, the company shared their knowledge on fishery management which strengthens sustainable environmental and economic outcomes.
Moreover, Thai delegates received information regarding the UK fishery regulations and Vessel Monitoring System Management from several UK agencies namely: The South Western Fish Producers’ Organization (SWFPO), the Marine Management Organization, and the Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (DSIFCA). The learning will lead to more effective management and a better synergy between related parties
With a collaboration between Thailand & UK, Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) has been deployed to Thailand fishery industry. The system has been used to identify unusual fishing activities by tracking data of the vessels, crewmen and their working hours, working conditions as well as wages.
The records must be verified by the port inspector before entering the port. This process is in line with the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA)
“The best practices learned from the UK marine organizations would significantly improve the sustainability and traceability of Thai seafood supply chain as well as eradicating forced labor and human trafficking” Dr. Sujint commented on the field trip.
About the Seafood Task Force
Founded in 2014, the Seafood Task Force is a collaboration of retailers, suppliers, NGOs and the Thai shrimp processors and feed companies to drive the social and environmental changes through a responsible, transparent and traceable supply chain across in the Thai seafood industry.