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Department of Fisheries Explain the Facts Case News SIOFA Plans to Seize Fishing Areas

On Thursday 20th January, 2022 at 2:40 p.m. at Nation TV, Channel 22, Bangna, Bangkok

Deputy Director-General of the Department of Fisheries, along with special expertise, the Department of Fisheries participated in a live interview with the media on the issue news SIOFA plans to seize fishing areas in the Southern Indian Ocean of boats outside Thai waters.

Deputy Director-General of the Department of Fisheries revealed that, in the case of "SIOFA seizing fishing grounds" news, the Department of Fisheries would like to clarify that the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) is a Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) that was established with legal management powers in 2006 and Thailand joined as a member in 2017, which SIOFA is considered a very new RFMO.

Compared to other RFMOs such as IOTC, which was established in 1996, any regulatory In order to enforce fisheries of the Parties, it is necessary to wait for the results of scientific studies to form the basis for the formulation of measures.

While waiting for the results of this data science study, SIOFA agreed that to prevent the impact on the ecosystem in advance At the same time not to affect fishing in the former fisheries of the Contracting Parties. Therefore the fishing vessels of member states are not allowed to expand the fishing area away from the former fishing grounds. (also known as Fishing Footprint) until other appropriate measures come into force. Thai vessels that used to fish in SIOFA's Saya de Malha Bank can continue and among the 11 Member States, they are restricted to their own Fishing Footprint, just like Thailand.

Currently, there are 4 Thai fishing trawlers licensed in SIOFA's Saya de Malha Bank. Thailand, by the Fisheries Monitoring Center, FMC of the Department of Fisheries, controls, monitors and monitors such vessels in accordance with conservation measures. SIOFA's management and management are rigorous and the fishing vessels has fully complied with the current interim measures for inland fishery in force. There is an electronic tracking system and there are fishermen observers on board at all times on every vessels trip and Thailand is assessed to have a 100% SIOFA compliance level across all SIOFA assessment cycles. Thai fisheries are therefore compliant with current regulations. Therefore, it is not a reason for SIOFA to take back the fishing area of ​​Thailand in any way.

Thailand and other partners consider the claim to be that there is no reliable scientific data to support it. The proposal by The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, DSCC, non governmental organization (NGO) has not been approved by the SIOFA members. therefore corrupted information is inaccurate.

The Members therefore urge the SIOFA Scientific Committee to conduct a study of the Saya de Malha Bank area and to consider it at the Scientific Committee,(SC) Annual Meeting in March 2022, which is the schedule. The annual meeting schedule is normal. which the Thai representative who is a scientist at SIOFA attends every year And there will be an agenda considering scientific data on many subjects, Risk assessment of ecosystems and aquatic animal populations Consideration of technical information for marine protected areas, etc. It can be seen that this meeting is a scientific issue only and does not involve the consideration of measures or regulations against punitive fisheries.

Science committee Has started to study in this matter since last year. It has periodically coordinated with the Department of Fisheries to obtain information on past fisheries operations of the Thai fishing fleet. For the study and analysis, the Department of Fisheries does not hide any information on this matter. However, since it is still in the process of studying the scientific facts of the SIOFA Scientific Committee, this is done in accordance with the procedures and procedures set out by SIOFA and in accordance with the resolutions of the conference of the members.

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