April 25, 2016


EU's import ban on Thailand's seafood looms due to inadequate reforms



Thailand's apparent inadequacy in addressing issues concerning the country's fisheries and their labour forces had troubled the EU enough to maintain the possibility of an import ban on Thai seafood, The News Gazette reported.


Thai legislation implemented in 2015 to curtail unlawful practices are not satisfactorily supplemented with action over the past two months, according to two EU officials.


One official voiced the bloc's concern of actions, on the part of Thai authorities, to deal with "illegal and unregulated fishing activities". This raised the likelihood of "further action" by the EU Commission.


In addition, Thailand's slavery problem complicated matters. The controversy was exposed by the Associated Press last year, resulting in the liberation of slave labourers, the confiscation of seafood and vessels, and legal actions launched by governments and corporations.   


Slavery and labour are closely "intertwined" with the illegal fishing industry, EU officials stated. Although given the severity of these issues, there have been "less evidence of reform" and even more damming proofs from third countries and NGOs about unlawful practices and insufficient enforcement.


Thai and EU officials will meet next month Brussels to discuss on the matter.


- The News Gazette

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