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CCCIF Press Release: Interception of Two Thai-Flagged Fishing Vessels Operating in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Area

Interception of Two Thai-Flagged Fishing Vessels Operating in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Area

14 February 2016

Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) has ordered the Thailand Maritime Enforcement Coordinating Center Area 3 (THAI-MECC Area 3) to intercept and withheld two Thai-flagged fishing vessels, namely FV Yu Long 6 and FV Yu Long 125, operating in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) area. These vessels operated Tuna hook and involved in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. At this stage the vessels were charged for violation of Royal Ordinance for Fisheries B.E.2558, by possessing the catch resulted from illegal fishing, and violation of National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No.10/2558, by not returning to Thai port by 27 January 2016. Administrative sanctions were that the vessels were listed in Thai-IUU vessels list and passed to the IOTC and FAO. Furthermore, the vessels registrations were revoked.

On February 2016, HTMS Pattani, under THAI-MECC Area 3, intercepted both vessels in the Indian ocean and conducted an initial inspection on these vessels. Several wrongdoings were found for example, fishing without the overseas fishing permit. They were ordered to return to Phuket, the closest Thai port for further inspection. The vessels were tracked through Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) until it reached Thai EEZ.

On 13 February 2016, Vice Admiral Sayan Prasongsumrej, the Commander of Third Naval Area Command and Director of THAI-MECC Area 3, ordered HTMS Klang supported by an air-patrol aircraft, DO-228, to intercept and control the vessel to return to Port of Phuket. At 2100hr, FV Yu Long 6 and Yu Long 125 were found to at 96NM to the south of Phuket Island and have been controlled to the port on 14 February 2016, 1300hr.

At the moment, multi-disciplinary teams, consisting of Marine Department, Department of Fisheries, Phuket Police, Immigration Officer, Social Development and Human Security Officer, Labor Protection Officer, and Port-In and Port-Out Controlling (PIPO) Center, are conducting the inspection onboard for any infringements regarding to their own jurisdictions, the Phuket Police will build up the cases and recommend for indictment to court.

These operations were the result of government ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy on fisheries laws enforcement. The aim is to be complying with the international standards and the sustainability of the fishery resources.