The fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has been ongoing in Thailand and Thai Union is proud to have worked with the Royal Thai Government to promote positive changes in the Thai fishing industry.
“The improvements to regulation and enforcement of the fishing industry have been significant, not only in terms of traceability and the sustainable development of the fisheries but also in terms of eliminating human rights violations,” Thirapong said.
He congratulated Thai government for its efforts to bring change to the country in the fight against IUU.
The yellow carding process created an opportunity for Thailand to lead the way in fisheries reform in the region and the Royal Thai Government should be commended for its work, said Darian McBain, Global Director of Sustainable Development at Thai Union.
For example, requiring bank accounts and electronic payment transfers for migrant workers in Thailand’s fishing industry helped promote human rights and safeguard workers through greater transparency and fairness.
“We know this is effective because Thai Union transitioned workers across our global operations to electronic payments several years ago—including 100 percent of our workforce in Thailand,” said McBain. “I can share from our experience that digital payments not only promote inclusive finance but also empower women with more control over family finances. This in turn increases their personal security and economic empowerment.”
According to the press statement, Thailand’s Department of Fisheries also supported an innovative digital traceability pilot project which Thai Union implemented in 2017. The pilot utilized mobile applications and satellite connectivity on Thai fishing vessels, boosting human rights for workers on vessels as well as transparency of fishing data capture.
Indicative of how significant connectivity at sea is, the Royal Thai Government last year announced a provision in new regulation mandating Thai vessel owners operating outside of national waters must provide a satellite communication system and device onboard for workers at sea.
“Thailand’s involvement in the Bali Process should be applauded as well,” said McBain. “It provides a platform for governments to engage the private sector on how to best combat human trafficking, forced labor and related exploitation.”
Looking ahead, Thai Union anticipates the development will help in promoting seafood trade to the EU from Thailand.