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EU ‘Green card’ for Thailand expected over IUU fishing

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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EU ‘Green card’ for Thailand expected over IUU fishing | The Thaiger

THAILAND: The Kingdom should expect to receive a ‘green card’ from the European Union for its efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, once the EU realizes the real progress the government is making in this regard, according to Steve Trent, executive director of the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

Mr Trent said the EJF had seen the progress made by Thailand in solving IUU problems and that it would subsequently be removed from the ‘IUU Report’ of the EU.

“Thailand will succeed in getting a green card after being given yellow-card status almost two years ago. But I don’t know when – the EU would like to see long-lasting measures for sustainable fishing,” he said.

He added the priority concern in his view was that Thailand needed to commit to the ratification and adoption of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) convention concerning work in the fishing industry, develop a sustainable plan and measures to combat IUU fishing, and create sustainable fisheries.

Adisorn Promthep, director general of the Fisheries Department, said the government continued to take IUU and sustainable fishery issues very seriously, having made them a priority on the national agenda. The first plan has been to set up a system for distance fishing-vessel management for outside Thailand’s territorial waters, and to monitor carriers and transhipment, both at sea and in port.

The Port-in Port-out control system will also be upgraded and modernized, and the Vessel Monitoring System Center will be upgraded to the Fishery Monitoring Center in order to increase regulation efficiency, Mr Adisorn said.

Meanwhile, the government has also increased labor management efficiency by setting up an interview system for migrant workers on fishing boats, via which they will get a sea-book for identification purposes and for following up on their living conditions, he added.

So far, about 38,000 vessels have been registered with the Fishery Department, some 26,000 of which are local fishing boats, and 11,000 are commercial boats.

The government aims to remove about 1,000 registered vessels from service soon, as they do not have fishing licences, Mr Adisorn said.

Singhadet Chu-umnart, director-general of the Employment Department, said Thailand would by the end of next year ratify ILO’s ‘Convention No 188’ concerning work in the fishery sector and covering fair wages, working hours, quality of shelter for laborers, and sanitary standards.

The ILO and the Labor Ministry are currently working on a gap analysis, following which a report is expected to be submitted to the labor minister. They will then draft an enabling bill for submission to the Cabinet, he said, adding that the process of ratification of the convention would be carried out by the end of 2017.

According to Employment Department data, 343,511 migrant workers in Thailand are permitted to work in the overall fishery sector, as authorized through the One Stop Service Center and the MoU process – 78,290 of them in the fishing sector, and 265,221 in seafood processing.

— The Nation

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand to issue vaccine certificate to everyone who gets 2 doses of Covid jab

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to issue vaccine certificate to everyone who gets 2 doses of Covid jab | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister says everyone who receives both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will be issued with a vaccine certificate. The vaccine certificate will be similar to the vaccination books already in circulation for some time and used to prove inoculation against yellow fever. According to a Coconuts report, both the paper and online version of the certificate will cost 50 baht and will be available from hospitals administering the vaccines.

While there is currently no standard vaccine passport, with most countries waiting for World Health Organisation guidance on the matter, it’s hoped Thailand’s vaccine certificate could help citizens with international travel plans. Anutin says recipients can use them for international travel and the certificates will have a validity of 1 year.

The government is also considering a reduction in mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreigners entering the Kingdom. A proposal going before the government’s Covid-19 task force on Monday includes cutting quarantine to 7 days for vaccinated visitors or reducing it to 10 days for unvaccinated arrivals who have tested negative 72 hours prior to travel. It’s understood the 7 day quarantine would apply to travellers who have been vaccinated for at least 2 weeks, but no longer than 3 months.

The proposals come as vaccine rollouts continue around the world, although Anutin points out that travellers from South Africa will not be eligible for reduced quarantine, due to the highly-contagious variant detected there, which health officials fear may be more resistant to vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister has even hinted at quarantine being cancelled completely if Thailand manages to inoculate 70% of people with underlying conditions and those working in the health and tourism sectors by October. Vaccine registration is set to kick-off in May, with the full national rollout beginning in June, when additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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Koh Samui

Blackout on Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan after navy ship anchor damages underwater cable

The Thaiger

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Blackout on Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan after navy ship anchor damages underwater cable | The Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/โฆษกกองทัพเรือ (Royal Thai Navy spokesperson)

A widespread blackout swept over Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan after a Thai navy ship anchor dropped on an underwater cable which supplies power to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand off the Surat Thani coast.

The 115kv cable runs from Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Khanom district to Koh Samui. The anchor damaged the cable about 2 kilometres out from the island, blacking out the tambons Bo Phut, Mae Nam and Maret, the Provincial Electricity Authority district manager Jakkrit Meedet told the Bangkok Post. The repair will take several days.

On the PEA Koh Samui Facebook page, the authority said electricity supply will be circulated for 1 hour per area and outage for 3 hours per area. Additional power generators are being sent to the island today. The authority is still supplying electricity to hospitals on the islands.

Apparently a similar incident happened back in 2018, Jakkrit says, and 6 mobile power-generating trucks were used to supply electricity to the island.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Facebook

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

AstraZeneca rollout confirmed for Thursday, with PM first in line

Maya Taylor

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AstraZeneca rollout confirmed for Thursday, with PM first in line | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr

First, there was the unexpected arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine on the same day Thailand took delivery of the Chinese one. Then there was the announcement that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was too old for China’s Sinovac jab and would get the AstraZeneca one instead. And then there was the delay to the PM’s inoculation, blamed on paperwork that was missing from the AstraZeneca shipment. Now, finally, the rollout of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab is scheduled for Thursday and the PM will be first in line.

The Bangkok Post reports that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has confirmed that quality checks on the 117,000 AstraZeneca doses are nearly complete and the PM will be vaccinated this week.

“(The rollout of) AstraZeneca vaccines in Thailand will take place on March 11 at the earliest, with the PM to be the first to receive the vaccine.”

According to Anutin, a number of senior politicians, including the foreign affairs minister and the acting education minister, have requested the AstraZeneca jab. Those over the age of 60 are being prioritised, while younger people will receive the Chinese vaccine, whose efficacy and safety have not been tested in those over 60.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister adds that China has asked for Thailand’s help in inoculating 200,000 Chinese citizens living in the Kingdom. Beijing has also floated the idea of making Thailand a regional vaccination centre for Chinese people living in the ASEAN region and says it will provide the necessary vaccines for free.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry has confirmed it will issue vaccination certificates to everyone who receives the required 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Apisamai Srirangson from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says such certificates have been approved by the World Health Organisation and can be used in the future to obtain a vaccine passport.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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