Thai Fisheries Laws - STF issues open letter to Thailand's Prime Minister ...

Amendments to Thai Fisheries Laws - STF Issues Open Letter to Thailand's Prime Minister

BANGKOK - 25th JUNE 2024

Today, an open letter was sent to the Royal Thai Government's Prime Minister. The content of which is detailed below. 

STF reaffirms its commitment to continued collaboration with the Royal Thai Government towards shared aims and invites further dialogue.

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Purchasing decisions of our member companies have helped Thailand to become one of the world’s leading exporters of quality seafood products generating approximately USD $60 billion in annual sales.

However, these purchasing decisions are significantly affected by reputational and legal risk. That’s why we have worked alongside the Royal Thai Government since 2014 to support the meaningful steps taken to reform the legal and regulatory framework for Thailand’s seafood industry so far.

We are aware of concerning and fast-moving developments / amendments to Thai fisheries laws that would undoubtedly affect risk and the consequent purchasing decisions of our member companies - the following proposed amendments being of  particular concern:

  • Allowing for a return to at-sea transshipment of catch and at-sea crew transfers.
  • Undoing the requirement for fishing vessels to provide a crew list on inspection.
  • Scaling back vessel monitoring requirements.
  • Allowing children under the age of 18 to work on fishing vessels.
  • Deregulation of destructive fishing gear, including bottom trawlers.
  • Weakening penalties for non-compliance with critical fisheries and worker protections, which are essential to maintain buyer confidence. 

We remain committed to working with the Royal Thai Government and Thailand’s seafood suppliers to ensure that important reforms are implemented effectively, but, in our open letter issued today, we are seeking clarity from the Government that there is no intention to reverse any of these critical reforms.

Proposed revisions aimed at streamlining bureaucratic processes are welcomed, but it is paramount that such measures do not come at the expense of environmental sustainability or human rights considerations.

Thailand’s ongoing demonstration of global leadership is especially important to the country's position as a leading seafood exporter and the Seafood Task Force reiterates our commitment to supporting all efforts to continue to build traceable, ethical, and sustainable supply chains.

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