Written by Keshala Dias
15 Nov, 2016 | 5:42 pm
Over-fishing has been a major issue in Thailand as it empties Thailand’s seas.
As a result, Thailand on Tuesday, November 15, sank the last batch of illegal fishing boats off the coast of Phetchaburi province to tackle the problem of over-fishing and to encourage coral to grow.
The eight boats on Tuesday were the last batch of 48 illegals trawlers the Thai government said it paid for and obtained during operations.
The boats were illegally operated and owners of the trawlers were not willing to change their fishing equipment on the boats.
“These boats are sunk to become artificial coral, they will become a sanctuary for marine species. They can be tourist spots for fishing and diving. They then become useful in the long term. So there are two beneficial results, we rid the fishery system of these illegal boats and we use them for a new purpose,” said fishery inspector Vicharn Ingsrisawang who heads the project.
There are also 197 illegal fishing boats that have been granted loans from the government to renovate and change their fishing tools from illegal nets to legal fishing methods.
Thailand has beefed up its campaign to eradicate destructive fishing since the European Union warned Thailand over illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The European Union gave Thailand a “yellow card” in April 2015 for failing to prevent illegal and unregulated fishing catch from entering the supply chain and ending up in seafood exports to Europe. The warning required Thailand to clean up in six months or face a trade ban.
European Commission said it extended Thailand’s “yellow card” status in May for another six months because of unresolved illegal fishing issues.
Source – Reuters
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