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Owners of fishing boats in Pattani have threatened to stop fishing to put pressure on the government to ease restrictions on illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing which they claim are impractical and affect their business.
Informed fishing industry sources from Pattani said that between 300-400 fishing boats were heading back to fishing piers in the province to join several other fishing vessels which were already anchored in piers to await response from the government over their petition for a reprieve from IUU fishing restrictions.
The sources warned that as many as 2,000 fishing boats of different sizes would head back to piers to join the fishing stoppage. Meanwhile in Songkhla province, the provincial fishery association has submitted a petition to the Command Centre to Combat Illegal Fishing to review the IUU fishing restrictions.
Mr Suradet Nil-uon, president of the Songkhla fishery association, said that their petition was accepted for consideration, resulting to operators of fishing boats to hold off their plan to stop fishing as a gesture of protest.
However, he warned that 700 fishing boats which are now out in the open sea fishing would return from the sea in 12 hours if there was no positive response from the government.
Trang fishery association president SaritpakPamornvisit said that operators of fishing boats in several provinces had joined force to make known their protest against the IUU fishing restrictions.
He claimed that most fishing vessel owners wanted the government to revise the memorandum of understanding signed with the European Union regarding IUU fishing.