Human Rights Abuses and Illegal Fishing in Thailand’s Overseas Fishing Industry
Thailand is the world’s fourth largest seafood exporter, earning the country annual revenues of over USD 6.5 billion according to recent figures.1 In the last two years, Thailand’s overseas fishing industry has been put under the spotlight as a stream of hard-hitting reports exposed the shocking human rights abuses linked to supply chains of major global seafood producers. At the same time, the space in which unscrupulous Thai companies were able to operate freely was rapidly shrinking as Southeast Asian governments, including Thailand, took action against human trafficking and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Drawing on a 12-month long investigation, this report details the last fishing frenzy made possible by the practice of transhipments at sea of Thailand’s rogue ghost fleets, before new regulations affected a temporary stoppage in distant water fishing from January to July 2016.
Turn the Tide outlines Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s investigations into IUU fishing, trafficking and other rights abuses — including fatalities resulting from negligence — aboard Thai distant water fishing vessels operating in the Indian Ocean. Research and analysis into fleet movements between 2014 and 2016 demonstrates how Thai overseas vessels fleeing crackdowns in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea arrived in an area of the Indian Ocean called the Saya de Malha Bank in the final half of 2015.