Thailand is working on an “urgent” plan to reform its fishing sector in a bid to avoid an EU export ban.
The country, which is the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, was handed a yellow card by the EC last month for not taking sufficient measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
It was given six months to improve the situation or face a Europe-wide ban on seafood imports, and EU officials are due to travel to the country later this month to assess progress.
In a statement issued on Monday, a spokesman for the Thai government said the country’s Ministry of Agriculture would deliver its plan to address the problems within two weeks.
He added a draft revision of Thailand’s Fishing Act had already been approved by the National Legislative Assembly and would be introduced 60 days after being published in the Royal Gazette.
Thailand will also issue an “emergency decree” to tackle issues identified by the EC that are not covered by the new Fishing Act, he said.
It remains unclear what impact a Thai ban would have on prices of seafood in the UK, which imports about 11% of its canned tuna supplies from Thailand [Mintec].
Mintec analyst Loraine Hudson said an EU ban on Sri Lankan seafood earlier this year had only a small impact on EU prices, but that Thailand had a much larger market share than Sri Lanka.
“A ban on Thai imports would increase demand on other major fisheries to export more to the EU,” she said.