Illegal fishing is the world’s third largest illegal economic activity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, it could value 10-20 billion euro per year. A dazzling amount, but peanuts compared to the damage it causes: collapsing fish stocks, marine ecosystem destruction, poverty among coastal regions, even forced labour and other severe human rights abuse.
That is why the European Union considers eradicating illegal fishing a priority. So important, it is willing to put its whole economic weight behind it. Ten years ago, the EU put in place a legal framework that allows blocking fish and seafood imports from any country it finds to tolerate illegal fishing. Using a system of green, yellow and red cards, the EU warns trading partners they could be one of those countries, and helps them to change their laws, procedures and infrastructure.
In the second episode of the OCEAN series by Euronews and DG MARE, reporter Denis Loctier goes to Thailand to see what has changed since the EU yellow card, back in 2015. The progress has been so positive that the European Commission has lifted the Thai yellow card on 8 January 2019.
Adison Promthep, Thailand’s director-general for fisheries, is pleased with the EU’s involvement. “The yellow card was like a wake-up call” he said. “You know the problem, now you have to do something significant”.
Euronews Ocean: How the EU stamped down on decades of illegal fishing in Thailand
- Publication date
- 11 February 2019
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries