Bangkok urged to negotiate deal for Myanmar waters

YANGON — A fishermen’s organisation in southern Thailand wants Thai trawlers to be allowed to operate in Myanmar waters, The Nation reported on July 5.

The Bangkok newspaper said the president of the Ranong Fishery Association, Thawee Bunying, had urged the government to negotiate with Myanmar to grant concessions permitting Thai trawlers to operate in its waters.

The call from Mr Thawee came as thousands of trawler owners in Thailand suspended operations because they lack documents required under new rules aimed at curbing illegal fishing. He said many Thai trawler operators had withdrawn from Indonesian waters after Jakarta cancelled concessions and required them to form joint-ventures with local partners.

Mr Thawee welcomed the rules, saying they would help to protect the industry because illegal fishing methods were destructive. The rules took effect on July 1 after the European Union threatened in April to ban the import of Thai seafood products, worth millions of dollars.

Under its so-called IUU regulations introduced in 2010, the EU can ban seafood imports from countries that allow illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. The EU is the world’s biggest seafood importer.

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