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Global retailers & buyers urge Thai govt. to continue path of reform towards ethical & sustainable fishing sector

Author: Toan Dao, SeafoodSource , Published on: 12 February 2020

“International seafood buyers urge Thailand to stand strong on fisheries reforms”, 11 February 2020

Several retailers and buyers sourcing seafood from Thailand have called on the [government]…to preserve major regulations in the fisheries sector amidst fears that recently-made reforms may be rolled back. In an open letter…the buyers said they “urge the…Thai government to continue the path of reform and…transition towards a legal, ethical and sustainable fishing sector”.

The Thai government has made progress in protecting the marine environment and workers from exploitation, the letter said,…add[ing]…that the buyers will continue to monitor and support collaboration between the government, seafood suppliers, and civil society organizations. Oxfam America Senior Advisor Art Prapha said the letter is part of an effort to protect an estimated 650,000 workers, including large numbers of migrant laborers, from exploitation and abuse.

[Ethical Trading Initiative]…and 23 other organizations, all members of the Seafood Working Group, had released a joint statement in December last year…[calling]on the Thai government to take actions to…reinstat[e]…reforming labor legislation, [end]…judicial harassment of…defenders and collaborat[e] with worker organizations to end labor exploitation.  

Due to progress made by the Thai government in taking on labor issues and illegal, unreported, and unregulated…fishing,…the [EU] Commission removed its yellow card from Thailand. But its tough measures resulted in protests from fishermen affected [who]…demanded…the government…ease fishing restrictions, address labor shortages, and assist with the sector’s mounting debt. The Thai government has since eased a number of anti-IUU regulations following the protests, and has offered compensation to fishermen…

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