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A progress of six key issues in controlling and combating IUU Fishing in Thailand

Thai Stop IUU Fishing

A progress of six key issues in controlling and combating IUU Fishing in Thailand –  3 August 2015

1. Legal framework

1.1 The Amendment of the Fisheries Act B.E. 2558 (2015) is on-going, it is revised by  the Command Center for Combating IUU Fishing (CCCIF)’s Legal Committee and the Council of State followed the key elements of EU suggestion during the VDO conference on July 20, 2015.  Department of Fisheries (DOF) technical experts are working closely with the legal team to ensure that the revised covers activities related and authorities provided are sufficient to combat IUU Fishing both in Thai waters and offshore fisheries in high seas and EEZ of other states.  In addition, the law will also reflect the Fishery Management Plan.  The timeframe of this revision is set on 3 August, 2015 onward.

1.2 Ratification of Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) and UN Fish Stock Agreement is planned aiming at combatting IUU fishing.  The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives established the Committee of International Agreement Ratification for Combating IUU Fishing.  Two meetings has been organized to discuss on the required element to be included in the legal framework for PSMA ratification, the Committee will discuss the UN Fish Stock Agreement in August, 2015.

1.3 In order to comply with the information reporting requirements of the RFMOs, DOF has submitted the required reports.  As a member of IOTC, DOF has submitted the 2015 annual reports to IOTC regarding the Resolution 05/03, 05/05, 12/04, 12/06, 13/04, 13/05, 13/08, 15/01, 15/02, and 15/03 since June 30, 2015.  For the WCPFC, as a Cooperating Non-Member, DOF also submitted an Annual report Part 2 and Fish/do not fish report since 1 July 2015 and an Annual report Part 1 since 6 July 2015.

2. Fisheries Management Policy (FMP)

2.1 During 20-24 July, 2015, the DOF conducted technical training on stock assessment and fishery management assisted by Prof. Dr. Junishiro Okamoto and Dr. Takashi Matsuishi from Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University.  Forty staff from DOF as well as the Navy were trained.  Furthermore, DOF received desirable comments from both professors on the stock assessment to be used in the FMP, so as to use the best scientific information available in the right direction.

2.2 During 26-31 July, 2015, DOF has consulted Mr. Derek Steples, a former Senior Fisheries Officer from FAO/Regional office of Asia and Pacific in assisting of the FMP revision.  To revise the FMP properly, DOF arranged meetings attended by Mr. Derek Stepels, a Thai university professor, DOF officers and Navy representative.

2.3 DOF also requested the South East Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) to communicate with a Japanese expert, Mr. Masanori Miyahara, a President of Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) on fisheries capacity reduction.  He will assist DOF on calculation and analysis of the fishing capacity reduction/fleet reduction on 10 August, 2015.

2.4 DOF plans to organize the technical consultation with the artisanal and commercial fishers coming from 22 coastal provinces on terms and definitions of fishing vessels as well as the fishing vessel classification which discussed and proposed by the DOF together with the CCCIF.  Five consultations will be held, in Songkla, Chumporn, Samutsakorn, Chantaburi and Krabi province during 3-5 August 2015. About 100 fisher representatives from artisanal and commercial fishers including NGOs will participate in each meeting.

2.5 From the result of fishing vessel survey which terminated on 31 July 2015, in consultation with Mr. Masanori Miyahara, DOF will recalculate and analyze the stock assessment using recent vessels information.  The figures will be adjusted significantly.  Once, it is completed, DOF will submit related information as requested by EU.

3. National Plan of Action – IUU

3.1 During 21-22 July, 2015, DOF arranged a technical consultation meeting for NPOA-IUU revision attended by various stakeholders from government and private sectors.  Several issues has been raised and suggested. The NPOA-IUU will be finalized within August 2015.

4. Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Systems

4.1 The National Plan of Control and Inspection has been drafted and expected to be finalized by 5 August 2 015.

4.2 Surveillance at sea activities have been implementing since October 2014 (during fiscal year 2015). Until now, 451 times has been conducted.  The result showed that 827 of 3409 fishing vessels did not have legal fishing license and are under investigation. Moreover, 443 cases were prosecuted with 2,894 offenders.

4.3 Three working manuals for competent officers have been drafted as follows:

– Control and Surveillance at sea, landing sites and other involved locations.

– Fishing licensing for Thai vessels fishing in the third countries EEZ and the high seas.

– Fishing licensing for Thai vessels fishing in Thai waters.

4.4 DOF organized a training course on Logbook control, inspection and verification for the officers working at Port in-Port out Control Centers in 22 coastal provinces.

4.5 The feasibility study on new fisheries licensing system is ongoing.  Establishment of electronic licensing is planned.

5. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)

5.1 A working manual on VMS Surveillances for officers responsible for Position Control of fishing vessels has been drafted.  

5.2 Since 29 July, 2015, 1422 fishing vessels with fishing capacity > 60 GT and eight refrigerated/carrier vessels operating in Thai waters are installed VMS. In addition, 78 fishing vessels with fishing capacity > 60 GT and 8 refrigerated/carrier vessels operating in oversea/high sea are installed VMS. The VMS Control Center of DOF are actively monitored all these vessels.

5.3 Three Notifications of the CCCIF has been additionally issued on 24 July 2015;

            1. Notifications of the CCCIF No. 11/2558 prescribing list of foreign fishing vessels and refrigerated/carrier vessels forbidden to enter into Thai waters.

            2. Notifications of the CCCIF No. 12/2558 prescribing vessel types which Marine Department has authority to revoke and delete from vessels registration list.

            3. Notifications of the CCCIF No. 13/2558 prescribing performance standards and functional requirements of Vessel Monitoring System.

5.4 VMS Control room at DOF, Bangkok has been constructed and completed 90% approximately.  The Control room will operate in the beginning of August 2015.

6. Traceability

6.1 DOF cooperated with the Marine Department and the Royal Thai Navy organized training on Log book information filling, Marine Catch Purchasing Document (MCPD) and Marine Catch Transshipping Document (MCTD) for 330 fishers and primary distributors.

6.2 Six working manuals related to traceability have been revised as follows;

            – Imported Fish Inspection Manual is revised to be in line within the Port State Measures Agreement. Confirmation of information declared by traders against information from flag and coastal states, RFMO is established. The standard for inspection of IUU vessels and products were established. The rate of Inspection of actual weight of fish was increased. The inspection reports were revised to captured information necessary for identification of IUU fishing/ vessels. Database to capture inspection results is reviewed.

            – Fish inspection at landing sites. The manual covers logbook inspection, inspection of fish species, weight, catching areas, t ransshipment record inspection, onsite inspection procedures as well as inspection of marine catch movement from fishing port to traders or processors. Data captured into the database system is also reviewed. Data validation system is established.

            – Fish inspection at processing plant

            – Catch Certificate issuance procedures

            – Processing Statement (Annex IV) issuance procedures

            – Procedures for verification of imported Catch Certificate

These three manual were revised by the Fish Inspection and Quality Control Division to include recommendations by the EU expert and audit team. Three trainings were conducted for field officers and certification staff accordingly.

6.3 DOF has been discussed with private sector to link existing inspection activities information to traceability data base, in order to gain full documentary link.

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