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The Gulf of Thailand Mixed-Trawl Fishery case: addressing social and environmental issues

  (THAILAND, 6/26/2020)
The need to address environmental and social issues in the Thai fishmeal industry has led via a complex journey, to a well-subscribed Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) in the Gulf of Thailand and the application for registration to the MarinTrust Improvement Program (formerly IFFO RS).
 
Seven years ago, the rapidly developing shrimp industry decided to respond to the concerns of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the sustainability of their balanced feed towards the eventual acceptance of a certification program. This could be accomplished by creating a Fishery Improvement (FIP), which was agreed by the eight Thai fishing organizations in the sector private. They met at the Thai Roundtable on Sustainable Fisheries1.
 
The industry prioritized social aspects within the supply chain with human rights, including forced labor and the voice of workers, as the objective. With these themes often intertwined with broader themes, it was decided that this approach should also encompass management and fisheries governance, along with environmental responsibility and transparent traceability throughout the supply chain. The approach involved various stakeholders, including fishers and processors, government departments along with experts and representatives from across the supply chain.
 
In October 2016, the Round Table was finally able to announce a cooperation with the Thai government to adopt international fishing regulations in the Gulf of Thailand, to create sustainable fisheries to long-term, taking into account current problems with overfishing, and illegal, unregulated activities and not declared (IUU). The announcement marked the formal establishment of the FIP. 
 

On October 12th 2016 in Bangkok, members of the FIPs Sub-Group took part in this important event which saw the eight private-sector fishery bodies – the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR) announce a cooperation with Thailand’s government to adopt international fishing standards in the Gulf of Thailand
 
The project was the first in the world to apply MarinTrust's multi-species fishing criteria recently developed as part of the MarinTrust Improvement Program. "The program MarinTrust is best suited for the management of marine fishery resources in Thailand as it is developing a method to tackle complex multi-species fisheries. The Gulf of Thailand it is home to a multitude of different species of fish, so the assessment is a good test case", said Dr. Viriyatum, the initial FIP coordinator for the Gulf of Thailand.
 
"There has been great progress in the industry in recent years to demonstrate real improvements in Thai fisheries, and we believe this will continue through the FIP and its commitment to the process MarinTrust, "said Vorapong Iamtrakul, General Manager, Office of Sustainable Standards for Materials Food Premiums at CP Foods.
 


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