Songkhla Fisheries Association head Suradech Nilubon on Tuesday thanked the Cabinet for recently approving a project to pay compensation to the owners of 305 so-called “white-red” trawlers.
The vessels in question had been declared as no longer fishing since April 2015, due to higher costs and risk factors after Thai authorities imposed tough regulations on trawler operators.
Twenty-four of the 305 boats, “which were legal but voluntarily out of the system as they couldn’t cope with impacts [of the regulations]”, were from Songkhla, he said.
Under the Cabinet-approved project, 50 per cent of a vessel’s value will be paid to each boat owner so that they could use the lump sum to invest in doing other work.
Officials will contact the boat owners to sign a contract to receive the compensation, and the boats would then be demolished, but the whole process would take some time for the government to prepare, as it first has to set payment guidelines and find an appropriate boat-destruction method, Suradech added.