Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

More than just a carding system: Labour implications of the EU's illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing policy in Thailand

Kadfak, Alin; Linke, Sebastian

Abstract

Globally, the EU plays a leading role in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. Specifically, the EU exercises normative power to influence regulatory strategies and governing frameworks in third countries. In 2015, the EU issued Thailand a yellow card, indicating that economic sanctions would be implemented unless IUU fishing practices were eliminated. Concurrently, revelations about 'modern slavery' in Thailand's fishing industry had received international attention, through media and NGOs, exposing slavery-like practices among migrant fishworkers. Conventionally, the EU's IUU policy addresses only issues of catch and environmental sustainability. This paper explores how an initial bilateral dialogue was bifurcated into two dialogues: a Fishery Dialogue and a Labour Dialogue. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with involved actors, expert opinions, field-visits and secondary documents, we ask: How were labour issues integrated into the bilateral dialogue, and what consequences emerged from the IUU policy for Thai fisheries management? Tracing the bilateral dialogue between EU and Thai governments, we argue that Thailand's fisheries reform was a result of both fisheries' sustainability concerns and the kind of labour rights valued by the EU. Our Normative Power Europe approach shows how norms of labour rights shaped the reform through policies and implementation. We maintain that this unique case-study reveals how the EU incorporates a broad-based normative approach that goes beyond catch sustainability.

Keywords

IUU fishing; Thailand; EU; Labour dialogue; Normative Power Europe (NPE); Fisheries sustainability

Published in

Marine Policy
2021, volume: 127, article number: 104445
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Linke, Sebastian
University of Gothenburg

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

UKÄ Subject classification

Work Sciences

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104445

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/112608