Thailand’s fishery industry faces US ban over use of improper equipment


A United States regulatory agency has called on Thailand to provide details of the equipment used in the fishing industry to see if they meet the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Assoc Prof Dr Thanaporn Sriyakul, director of Thailand’s National Fisheries Policy, said on Saturday that the demand has been made by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

He added that if the details provided are found unacceptable, then the US will ban all fishery products from Thailand.

Thanaporn said providing a clarification will not be easy because the details must be based on academic and research data combined with actual fishing methods used by local fishermen and commercial fisheries.

“The deadline for submitting details to the NOAA is November 30 otherwise fisheries products from Thailand may get banned. The European Union had issued a ‘yellow card’ [in April 2015] to Thailand as a warning that if changes are not made, Thai fisheries products cannot be exported to countries under the European Union,” Thanaporn said.

In 2019, the EU removed Thailand from its list of countries warned over illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing methods.

The top five markets for Thailand’s fishery products are Japan, the US, Australia, Canada and China. Last year, Thailand exported fish products worth 39.9 billion baht to the US alone.