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July 02, 2020

Myanmar to take action against illegal fishing starting from 1 June

Fishing vessels are anchored in the offshore of Taninthayi coastline in Taninthayi Region.  Photo : Khaing Htoo (IPRD)
Fishing vessels are anchored in the offshore of Taninthayi coastline in Taninthayi Region. Photo : Khaing Htoo (IPRD)

The government will take actions against offshore fishing boats that are illegally operating in the water of Myanmar via Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) starting from 1 June (today).
The decision was made at the meeting of fishing boat owners and agents at the Fisheries Department in Myeik on 30 May.
U Than Chaung, Head of the Taninthayi Region Fisheries Department, said “We are afraid that illegal fishing might be carried out after the VMS tracking devices are off. If the tracking devices are uninstalled, it will be difficult to reinstall them.”
“The rule was issued five months ago. We informed the fishing boat owners and agents about the rules during the period and to abide by the rules and regulations.” he added.
U Thet Soe, Secretary of Taninthayi Region Fisheries Federation, said “Fishing boat owners willingly installed the tracking devices. The legal action takes effect on 1 June.”
“The date the legal actions start taking effect is inconvenient as it is the period no boats go fishing.”
If the device is off a day, the boat owner will be fined K 50,000, the secretary said.
He added that a better decision should be made for the boat owners after the ministry and Hluttaw cooperate on the previous decision.
Taninthayi coastline located in southern part of Myanmar is the longest coastline of three coastlines in Myanmar. It stretches 1,200km.
On the coastline, there are about 1,250 Myeik-based offshore fishing vessels with 25, 000 workers, according to the Myeik District Fisheries Department’s data in April 2020. — Khaing Htoo (IPRD)(Translated by Kyaw Zin Tun)

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