A meeting on April 1 at the Phuket's Sapan Pla fishing port was told that the new fishing license requirements, which stipulate that all operators of commercial fishing vessels equal to or larger than 10 gross tonnes, must possess a new E-license from April 2, 2016, or else face stiff penalties.

Presided over by Mr Pisanu Na-anan of the Phuket Fisheries and Mr Yosathon Chaleewan of Phuket Muang District's Fisheries office, the meeting was attended by representatives of the province's main commercial fishing operators.

The new two-year licenses, which will all expire on March 31, 2018, are part of the government's latest efforts to regulate the fishing industry so as to to ensure sustainability of the Kingdom's dwindling marine resources.

Previous paper commercial fishing licenses, which were due to expire by the end of the Thai fiscal year, on September 30, 2016, are no longer valid and must be replaced by the new two-year E-license, explained Mr Pisanu.

“Fishermen who applied for the new license have all been issued a temporary license, which they must possess every time they go out to fish, otherwise they willface harsh penalties under the new regulations,” explained Mr Pasanu.

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