On 21 February 2019, Thailand was ranked second in the 3rd STOP IUU FISHING AWARD organised by the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network for the project entitled “Fish Product Traceability System: The Key Tool for Combating IUU Fishing of Thailand”, submitted by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The award was announced at the 6th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW) held in Bangkok.
The International MCS Network bestows the STOP IUU FISHING AWARD to experts, agencies and international organisations from all over the world to encourage innovations, by recognising their works and efforts in promoting innovative solutions in the fight against IUU fishing. The award also helps raise the global fishing standard and promotes sustainable fishing practices.
The STOP IUU FISHING AWARD received by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, is a testament to the successful development of Thailand’s comprehensive traceability system, utilising an electronic system to control and monitor marine catches from Thai - flagged vessels and imported fish and fishery products. A linkage of database networks from different agencies has been developed to monitor and ensure the marine product traceability. The network comprises of 3 database - related systems namely; (1) The Fishing Info System (FI System), which integrates information from various databases including vessel information, fishing license databases, and Vessel Monitoring System (VMS); (2) The Thai - flagged Catch Certificate System, which records all documentation of marine animals and allows competent agencies to trace back data related to marine products throughout the whole supply chain; and (3) The PSM - linked Processing Statement System (PPS), which enables the competent authorities to control the importation of aquatic products into Thailand. The PPS process starts prior to port entry, continues with inspection at port, through to the inspection of the offloading process. The overall traceability system provides the authorities concerned with access to the databases of the Marine Department, Customs Department, and processing plants. These measures will increase the transparency in tracing aquatic products in the supply chain from the end product to its origins.
The Award demonstrates the Royal Thai Government’s achievement in developing the traceability system throughout the whole supply chain over the past 3 years. The traceability system is an essential mechanism for Thailand to prevent and combat IUU fishing, as well as to ensure that no IUU fish and fishery products are imported and exported by, or processed in Thailand. The comprehensive traceability system covering the whole supply chain will help the Thai fishing industry to become IUU - free, in line with international standards, and traceable at every step of the process, which will in turn boost the consumer’s confidence in Thai fishery products.