If you live in Pattaya there’s usually plenty of fishing going on, not just in the sea either!

The down turn in tourist numbers means there are less funds to be extracted from foreigners, this is known as ‘finance fishing’. The local ladies and authorities are particularly good at spotting where the Scholes of two week millionaires hang out and get intoxicated, making the extraction process easier.

The sharks gather and wait for individual lost souls on their late night drunken journey back to their caves, often capturing those that don’t have enough green to feed them. These are rounded up and kept in the local lobster cage until sufficient terms for release are met.

On a serious note, Thailand is the world’s third largest seafood producer and in a bit of trouble with the EU.

How so?
Well, Thailand export 1 Billion USD of seafood every year to the EU. The European fishing authorities are demanding Thailand clamp down on illegal fishing and only allow licensed fishing to take place. Thai fishing authorities are racing to clean up the business before Europe imposes sanctions and potentially bans seafood imports from Thailand.

This issue is now being taken very seriously by Thai authorities following a “yellow” card from Brussels for inadequate fisheries monitoring, controls and punishment. The central

European Government also gave warning that a “red card” could follow with an import ban imposed if Thailand’s fishing industry failed to improve within six months.

The Prime Minister Parayut Chan-O-Cha has rightly commented that the Thai fishing industry has remained unchecked for too long. Over fishing can destroy the delicate environment and food chain, it is a problem worldwide. It’s why other countries impose tough licensing and legislation. “If we don’t pass these measures a THB200 billion (USD6 billion) industry could be wiped out so everybody should cooperate,” he said.

Whilst these latest threats to the industry from the EU have triggered a knee jerk reaction, hurried legislation will probably fail to deal with illegal fishing in the long term. Many fishermen and fish processing plants are looking to export more canned fish to Burma and other ASEAN countries in order to navigate around the problem.

However, many fishermen are looking to comply and are applying for new fishing licensees. Ultimately it will result in loss of work or at least a charge in career for many.


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