Thailand: Role Model and Bridge Builder for EU-ASEAN Cooperation in Combatting IUU Fishing

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the most serious threats to marine ecosystems, undermining the national and regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks. With an estimated global value of IUU fishing between 10-20 billion EUR per year, one in every five fish is illegally caught from IUU fishing activities annually. Moreover, IUU fishing also comes with social and economic implications since it undermines the fairness of responsible fishermen and gives rise to forced labour and human trafficking.

Thailand was one of the countries in ASEAN handed a yellow card by the EU’s IUU carding system. Bangkok turned this challenge into an opportunity through enhanced cooperation with the EU on fisheries. This downside-up change made the country a frontrunner in combatting IUU fishing in the region. How have Thailand and the EU been cooperating in fighting IUU fishing and how has this boosted EU-ASEAN relations?

Author: Jutaporn Singchum, EIAS Junior Researcher

Photo credits: Pexels