'European Union tells Thailand more to do on illegal fishing'

The European Union has warned Thailand that it is still not doing enough to stamp out illegal fishing practices, the country`s defence minister said on Friday, raising the prospects of a trade ban.

Bangkok: The European Union has warned Thailand that it is still not doing enough to stamp out illegal fishing practices, the country`s defence minister said on Friday, raising the prospects of a trade ban.

Thailand, the world`s third-largest seafood exporter, was given six months by the EU in April to address issues such as ensuring all fishing vessels are registered, have registered equipment and are fitted with a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). 

"The EU sent a letter saying our actions were still not correct both in terms of administration and legislation," Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters on Friday.

Prawit said that 3,000 fishing boats nationwide were still unregistered.

The Thai government`s efforts to tighten regulations last month prompted many of the country`s fishermen to stop work in protest against the new requirements. 

Thailand`s annual exports to the EU are estimated to be worth between 575 million to 730 million euros ($641 million - $813 million). Overall fish exports were worth around $3 billion in 2014, according to the Thai Frozen Food Association.

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