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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Certification for EU due in December
The Fisheries Department plans to start certifying seafood products from non-IUU (illegal, unregulated, unreported) fishing for exports to Europe by December, one month ahead of schedule.
The acceleration of the process aims to assure the European Union of the willingness of the Thai fishery industry to comply with the new rule, according to Somying Piumsombun, the director-general of the department.
She said that during the discussions with the head of the EU's Directorate General For Maritime Affairs and Fisheries early this month, the EU agreed with the certification process drafted by the Fisheries Department, an EU-appointed competent authority.
The process enables the EU to trace back the origins of fishery products including catch certificates of trawlers, boarding ports and processing venues, she said.
The EU will ban any entry of fishery products suspected of being caught by IUU fishing starting in 2010 to help eliminate IUU fishing activities around the world and preserve the marine ecology and environment.
According to Dr Somying, operators - from fishermen and cold-storage manufacturers to seafood processors - will be informed of the new guidelines at a meeting late this month in Samut Sakhon, the country's main fishery hub. More meetings will also be held in coastal provinces.
Songsang Patavanich, an honorary adviser to the Thai Overseas Fisheries Association, said that the EU's new rule would help clear Thailand of rampant illegal and excessive fishing allegations lodged by foreign countries.
He suggested that the Fisheries Department revamp the industry by enforcing the use of proper fishing tools to preserve fish stocks and register all trawlers.
The non-IUU certificates will help Thai fishery products to meet the requirements of non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace in Australia and the EU, which call for the imports of non-IUU fishing products.
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