Thai Prime Minister pledges to tackle fisheries industry woes

Srettha Thavisin, the Prime Minister (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

Srettha Thavisin, the Thai Prime Minister, promised to address the issues plaguing the fisheries industry in his visit to Samut Songkhram yesterday. This move came after representatives from the industry called upon the newly formed government to revise laws to mitigate the effects of restrictions put in place to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Srettha stated that the industry’s struggles were among the Pheu Thai-led government’s top priorities. To address these challenges, the 61 year old PM proposed the formation of a working committee. It is anticipated that Thamanat Prompow, the secretary-general of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), who is expected to serve as the agriculture minister, will head this panel to strategise a comprehensive solution to the problems.

The Pheu Thai party’s Manaporn Charoensri and PPRP’s Phai Lik, who are tipped to become the deputy transport minister and deputy commerce minister respectively, were among the delegation that met with representatives from the fisheries sector.

The industry representatives prompted the new government to amend 13 laws aimed at combating IUU practices yesterday. This plea was in response to the European Union (EU) issuing a yellow card warning to Thailand in 2015 for these practices.

The representatives alleged that several IUU fishing restrictions and labour-related regulations have forced operators to close their businesses. They proposed that the government should implement gradual wage increases to minimise the sudden impact on their operations.

Srettha revealed that before the yellow card warning in 2015, Thailand’s seafood exports were worth more than 350 billion baht. However, the country had to import seafood worth 150 billion baht after the warning was issued.

Upon his royal endorsement as prime minister, Srettha met with representatives from the tourism and travel industry to discuss debt issues. He also recognised the importance of the fisheries sector as the third item on his agenda.

Srettha suggested setting up a one-stop service centre to address issues such as migrant workers’ documentation. However, he noted that other issues that require international cooperation might take longer to resolve.

On the topic of wage increases, Thavisin acknowledged that it was a significant policy of every coalition partner. However, he assured that his government would strive to avoid imposing a financial burden on businesses.

Thamanat, on his part, promised to establish a working committee to lead efforts to rehabilitate the fisheries sector as soon as he officially assumes office, reported Bangkok Post.

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Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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