Fishermen from 20 provinces gathered at Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to show the support for General Chatchai Sarikulya to remain on the position of Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister and continue tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Thai Fisheries Association chairman Mongkol Sukcharoenkana led the group of fishermen to meet with Chatchai on Wednesday and show support for him on the eve of the Cabinet reshuffle.
Mongkol said the minister had made a good job of tackling IUU fishing, and changing the leader on this task during this period may disrupt the continuity of the efforts to improve Thai fisheries.
Chatchai greeted the group of fishermen and thanked them for their support. However, he said he did not like the fishermen to openly show their support for him like this, because it may be seen that they were trying to pressure the government to let him remain in the position. He said it would be up to the Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, to assign the right person to the right position.
He assured them that, even if he is assigned to a new position, he would not hesitate to lend a hand in any way he could to help tackle IUU fishing.
He said that during his three years and two months on Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister position, he had devoted himself to solving the problem.
“The process to solve IUU fishing has already progressed greatly, and fishing regulations to ensure sustainability are now being drafted to meet international standards,” Chatchai said.
“Meanwhile, an assessment committee from the European Union is already in Thailand to assess our fisheries improvement efforts. We will know the results next year, and if we pass the required fishing standards, the EU will remove the yellow flag on our country.”