The Thai Overseas Fisheries
The crisis of fisheries worldwide has prompted many parties to realize the importance of collectively looking after marine life, especially in non-territorial seawaters. This trend of consciousness has been raised among consumers, under the principle of engaging in responsible fishing practices. Moreover, some countries have implemented measures to regulate the responsible management of fisheries among their citizens. Some have enacted trade laws to mandate that imported goods for domestic consumption are approved and/or inspected to have been derived from Non-IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) Fishing, such as countries of the European Union and recently in USA by Custom Border Protection (CBP).
The ongoing situation has affected the export of Thai fishery products, as its process of raw material procurement does not meet the standards of Thailand’s partner countries in trade. The Thai fishing industry, therefore, faces obstruction, as its products have been boycotted by trading countries. On June 18 2013, the Fisheries Association of Thailand, the Thai Fisheries Producers’ Association, the Thai Feed Mill Association, the Thai Frozen Foods Association and the Thai Shrimp Association collaborated with the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Livestock Development in creating a joint resolution over acceptable standards in Thai fisheries. The Thai Sustainable Fishery Roundtable (TSFR) was therefore established as a joint committee between the public and private sectors over this issue.
The objective of establishing (TSFR)
The purpose of the TSFR is to determine, study and proceed with creating the fishing standards that all parties can comply with under the CCRF (Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries) framework of the FAO. The fishing standards will take the following parts into consideration:
Part 1: Practices Non-IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing)
Part 2: Practices Fishing Without Destroying the Environment.
Part 3: Does Not Use Illegal Labor And
Part 4: Guarantees Food Safety
Also, TSFR has initiated the Fishery Improvement Plan (FIP) to improve the sustainability of a fishery. FIP is a multi-stakeholder engagement and a long term project which need to meet a number of requirements pertaining to participation, funding, transparency and scientific evidence. The ultimate goal of FIP is to create measurable change to ensure the long term sustainability of a fishery to ensure the market access. FIP engaging can level up the acceptance to key markets, including buyers who committed to sustainable sourcing.
Memorandum of Understanding is made on 4th November 2013 by TSFR, with the intention to improve the efficiency of Thai fisheries management and governance, together with environmental responsibility and transparent traceability of fishery products