By The Nation
Boonchu Paeyai, president of Phang Nga Fishing Association, held a meeting with fishing boat operators, fishing pier and large-scale fish vendors as well as representatives of local fishermen at a village hall in the Thai Muang district of Phang Nga province.
Boonchu said the meeting resolved to submit a call to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday and give the government a week to respond to their demand otherwise all the fishing operators would dock their boats.
If the government ignores their call, the fishing operators would send an appeal to His Majesty the King, Boonchu said.
Among other things, Boonchu said the fishing boat operators wanted the government to allow undocumented migrants and stateless people to register themselves as workers on fishing boats as the fishing industry still needed 50,000 more workers.
They also called on the government to speed up the purchase of fishing boats from operators who could not continue in the business because of strict measures taken by the government.
Boonchu said fishing boat operators saw the regulations issued by the Labour Protection and Welfare Department as impractical.
They also called on the Fishery Department to amend the Port-in Port-out regulations that require fishing boats to report their departure and return to ports. The fishing boat operators said the current regulations were too complicated and imposed a cost burden on them.
Boonchu said the fishing operators also resolved to object to the government’s plan to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Convention C188 regarding work in the fishing sector, as the convention would require fishing boat operators to invest much more to improve the living conditions of fishing crew.