Shaping ocean governance: a study of EU normative power on Thailand’s sustainable fisheries

Abstract

The European Union (EU) has been championing an agenda for better ocean governance based on a cross-sectoral, rules-based international approach and indicated its role as a strong global actor in this field. The EU, as reflected through its strategies adopted during the last decade (2005–2015), aims to shape international ocean governance on the basis of its experience in developing a sustainable and ethical approach to ocean management, notably through its environment policy and regulatory regime. This paper observes a significant transition of the EU internal policy towards a more externally-oriented one as well as its ambition in exporting the EU norms to third countries. It seems that the EU aims to lead this maritime and fisheries domain as a global actor, diffusing norms via interstate relations. The case study of EU policy towards Thailand fisheries policy, resulting in Thailand’s adopting sustainable fisheries policy in 2015 will be explored in this research paper.

In addition, the paper aims to analyse the development and evolution of Thailand’s sustainable fisheries policy during 2015–2019 and to examine the rationales behind Thailand’s shift towards more environmentally and socially friendly fisheries policy. It focuses on how and in what ways Thailand as a third country has been influenced by the EU normative power in the maritime and fisheries domain and in particular, by the EU’s illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) or “IUU Regulation” entered into force since 2010 as one of its main tools to promote ocean governance.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Act of Parliament (1947) Fisheries act B.E. 2490. Bangkok. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www.fisheries.go.th/management/docs/afish.pdf

  2. Ali M et al (eds) (2015) ASEAN guidelines for preventing the entry of fish and fisheries products from IUU fishing activities into the supply chain. The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Kuala Lumpur http://www.seafdec.org/download/asean-guidelines-for-preventing-the-entry-of-fish-and-fishery-products-from-iuu-fishing-activities-into-the-supply-chain/#

    Google Scholar 

  3. Department of Fisheries (2015) Marine fisheries management plan of Thailand: a national policy for marine fisheries management 2015–2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from http://extwprlegs1.fao.org/docs/pdf/tha165156.pdf

  4. Department of Fisheries (2018a) Thailand’s path to sustainable fisheries. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from https://www4.fisheries.go.th/local/file_document/20180228101142_1_file.pdf

  5. Department of Fisheries (2018b) Thailand’s fight to eliminate illegal activity and promote human rights in the fishing industry (sponsored content). POLITICO. Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://www.politico.eu/sponsored-content/thailands-fight-to-eliminate-illegal-activity-and-promote- human-rights-in-the-fishing-industry/

  6. Department of Fisheries (2019a) Report on Thailand’s success in combating IUU fishing. Department of Fisheries, Bangkok

    Google Scholar 

  7. Department of Fisheries (2019b) Background of Department of Fisheries. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from https://www4.fisheries.go.th/index.php/dof_en/view_role/1

  8. Diez T (2005) Constructing the self and changing others: reconsidering `normative power Europe. Millennium 33(3):613–636. https://doi.org/10.1177/03058298050330031701

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Diez T, Manners I (2007) Reflecting on normative-power Europe. In: Berenskoetter F, Williams M (eds) Power in world politics. Routledge, New York, pp 173–188

    Google Scholar 

  10. European Commission (2016) International ocean governance: EU’s contribution for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans. Press release. Retrieved March 3, 2019, from http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-3619_en.htm

  11. European Commission (2019a) EU acts on illegal fishing: yellow card issued to Thailand while South Korea & Philippines are cleared. Press release. Retrieved March 3, 2019, from https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-61_en.htm

  12. European Commission (2019b) Commission lifts “yellow card” from Thailand for its actions against illegal fishing. Press release. Retrieved March 3, 2019, from https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP- 19-61_en.htm

  13. European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs (2016) Joint communication to the European parliament, the council, the European economic and social committee and the committee of regions. European Commission and High Representative of the Union, Brussels Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/sites/maritimeaffairs/files/ join-2016-49_en.pdf

    Google Scholar 

  14. European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (2015) Tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from https://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/sites/fisheries/files/docs/publications/2015-04-tackling-iuu-fishing_en.pdf

  15. European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. (2016). Joint communication to the European parliament, the council, the European economic and social committee and the committee of the regions. International Ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans. Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from https://eurlex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A52016JC0049

    Google Scholar 

  16. European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (n.d.) International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans. Retrieved February 2019, from https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/ocean-governance_en

  17. European Parliament, Committee on Fisheries (2007) Implementation of the EU action plan against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. European Parliament, Strasbourg Retrieved March 7, 2019, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A6-2007-0015+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN

    Google Scholar 

  18. Gerrits A (2009) Normative power Europe: introductory observations on a controversial notion. In: Gerrits A (ed) Normative power Europe in a changing world: a discussion. Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, The Hague https://www.clingendael.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/ 20091200_cesp_paper_gerrits.pdf

    Google Scholar 

  19. IUU Watch (2015) Understanding the EU’s carding process to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from http://www.iuuwatch.eu/2015/10/understanding-the- eus-carding-process-to-end-illegal-unreported-and-unregulated-iuu-fishing/

  20. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016). Press release: Thailand accedes to the FAO agreement on port state measures. Press release. Retrieved March 9, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/media-center/14/66730-Thailand-accedes-to-the-FAO-Agreement-on- Port-Stat.html

  21. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017a) Press release: Thailand’s accession to the United Nations fish stock agreement (UNFSA). Press release. Retrieved March 9, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/news3/6886/77299-Thailand%E2%80%99s-Accession-to-the-United-Nations-Fish-St.html

  22. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017b) Press release: Thailand’s accession to the Southern Indian ocean fisheries agreement (SIOFA). Press release. Retrieved March 9, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/news3/6886/77124-Thailand%E2%80%99s-Accession-to-the-Southern- Indian-Ocean.html

  23. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017c) Fisheries news IUU: highlights of progress: fisheries monitoring center now fully operational. Press release. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/europetouch/th/news/8359/90110-Highlights-of-Progress:-Fisheries-Monitoring-Cente.html

  24. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017d). Facts and figures: Thailand’s tangible progress in combatting IUU fishing and forced labour. Press release. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/europetouch/contents/files/news-20180605-120010-859147.pdf

  25. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2018a) Press release: Thailand announced the roadmap towards the IUU-Free Thailand. Press release. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/news3/6886/87958-Thailand-Announced-the-Roadmap-towards-the- IUU-Fre.html

  26. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2018b) Illegal fishing clampdown (sponsored content). Reuter. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from https://www.reuters.com/sponsored/article/turning- the-tide/illegal-fishing-clampdown

  27. Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2019) Press release: Thailand upgrades partnership with the EU in combating IUU fishing. Press release. Retrieved March 15, 2019, from http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/news3/6886/102102-Thailand-Upgrades-Partnership-with-the-EU-in- Comba.html

  28. Manners I (2002) Normative power Europe: a contradiction in terms? J Common Mark Stud 26(2):235–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Manners I (2006) The European Union as a normative power: a response to Thomas Diez. Millennium 35(1):167–180. https://doi.org/10.1177/03058298060350010201

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Pace M (2007) The construction of EU normative power. J Common Mark Stud 45(5):1041–1064. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.2007.00759.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C (2016) Thailand’s fisheries reform: progress and way forward in the fight against IUU fishing and forced labor. Retrieved March 10, 2019 from, https://thaiembdc.org/2016/03/07/thailands-fisheries-reform/

  32. Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C (2019) Thailand spearheads in bid to establish ASEAN IUU task force. Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://thaiembdc.org/2019/04/05/thailand-spearheads-in-bid- to-establish-asean-iuu-task-force/

  33. Royal Thai Government Gazette (2015) Issue 130 section 108a. Royal ordinance on fisheries B.E.2558. Bangkok. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www4.fisheries.go.th/file_footer/20160517105511_file.pdf

  34. Royal Thai Government Gazette (2017) Issue 134 section 67a. Royal ordinance on fisheries B.E. 2560 (II). Bangkok. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.fisheries.go.th/law/images/PR2558/2-pr28.pdf

  35. Royal Thai Government Gazette (2018) Issue 135 section 19a. Royal ordinance on Thai vessels B.E. 2561. Bangkok, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2561/A/019/17.PDF

  36. The Council of the European Union (2008) Council regulation (EC) no 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Brussels. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2008/1005/2011-03-09

  37. Wipatayotin A. (2019) IUU fishing is a crime issue, says Prawit. Bangkok Post. Retrieved March 15, 2019, from https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1690072/iuu-fishing-is-a-crime-issue-says- prawit

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kasira Cheeppensook.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tavornmas, A., Cheeppensook, K. Shaping ocean governance: a study of EU normative power on Thailand’s sustainable fisheries. Int Econ Econ Policy (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10368-020-00475-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Ocean governance
  • European Union (EU)
  • Normative power
  • EU illegal
  • Unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) regulation
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable fisheries
  • Thailand