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Thailand combats illegal fishing after EU threatens seafood ban

Government destroys unlicensed boats as $500m sanctions loom

Thailand destroys unregistered fishing vessels in September in a show of force for international observers. (Photo by Marimi Kishimoto)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's government is ramping up its crackdown on unlicensed fishing boats -- which are often a hotbed of forced labor -- in a bid to ward off a ban on seafood exports to the European Union.

On Sept. 12, representatives from 10 nations were invited to the coastal province of Samut Sakhon to witness the destruction of nine illegal fishing boats. An excavator demolished the decrepit ships, to demonstrate to the EU delegation that Thailand is taking the problem seriously.

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