Thai fishermen demonstrate against EU fishing regulations

Fishermen across Thailand on September 21 demonstrated against the European Union (EU)’s stringent regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Thailand.

Fishing boats lay idle in port at Samut Songkhram (Bangkok Post file photo)

Fishing boats lay idle in port at Samut Songkhram (Bangkok Post file photo)

The fishermen in 22 coastal provinces turned out to oppose the EU regulations right on the National Fisheries Day of Thailand, source from Vietnamplus.

More than 3,000 protesters in Samut Songkram province took to the streets wearing black shirts featuring anti-EU messages.

Chairman of the Thai Fisheries Association Mongkol Sukcharoenkana said the fishermen want to show the EU that they are unhappy with the EU’s “double standard” on Thai fishing, adding that EU officials are trying to use IUU fishing regulations as a trade barrier rather than to preserve marine resources.

He said IUU regulations had destroyed the Thai fishing industry over the past two years, noting that the fisheries sector had already lost 500 billion baht (about 15 billion USD).

The Thai fishing fleet formerly had as many as 40,000 boats, but now the number has decreased to 10,600, only 3,500 of which can operate because of labour shortages.

“If the EU still interferes with Thai businesses, we will apply our own measures against the EU, such as boycotting goods from the EU or protesting their exploration for natural gas in Thai waters,” he added.

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