On 28 April 2017, H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, the Ambassador and Thailand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York met with Mr. Santiago Villalpando, Chief of Treaty Section, the United Nations in New York to present the Instrument of Accession of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks 1995 or UN Fish Stock Agreement (UNFSA). The UNFSA is a key international agreement on the conservation and management of fisheries resources to combat illegal fishing through cooperation of state parties, as well as sub – regional and regional fisheries management organisations.
As a coastal state which has migratory fish resources and the flag state of fishing fleets involving in fishing of migratory fishes, accession to the UNFSA will enable Thailand to fulfill its obligations as a member of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) with regards to the management of migratory fish resources. As a state party, Thailand will become a part of the international mechanism for conservation and management of fisheries resources especially in the high seas, which are not under jurisdiction of any state. The accession to the UNFSA would promote responsible fishing and help conserve the fishery resources for the benefit of the international community.
With regard to the implementation, the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries B.E. 2558 (2015) provides a legal framework for the fisheries resource conservation, management and control of fishing activities, and the fight against IUU fishing. The Royal Ordinance regulates the licensing and control of Thai fishing fleets both in Thai waters and overseas, control of foreign vessels permitted to fish in areas under jurisdiction of Thailand, as well as the control of aquatic animal imports. The Royal Ordinance is, therefore, a basis for the implementation of Thailand’s obligations as a flag state, port state, and coastal state in line with the UNFSA.
The accession to the UNFSA is also an implementation of the National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (NPOA – IUU) which was developed in line with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (FAO IPOA – IUU) and Thailand’s international obligations. This underlines Thailand’s commitment to the elimination of IUU fishing and to the reform of Thailand’s fishery sector which aim to ensure sustainable and responsible fishing practices and especially to bring its overseas fishing fleets operating in the high sea under control and conservation measures in accordance with international standards.