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Thailand Wants To Attract 50,000 Foreign Workers For Seafood Sector Thailand, January 28, 13

The Thai fishing industry wants the government to work with authorities in Bangladesh to supply 50,000 workers to solve a labor shortage in Thailand's growing fisheries industry, reports Bangkok Post.

Furthermore, the National Fisheries Association of Thailand has proposed that the government consider registering Rohingya people smuggled into Thailand and detained near the Malaysian border in Songkhla province as foreign workers for recruitment into the fishing industry.

According to the Association president Phubet Chanthanimi, the labor shortage could bring the whole industry to a halt. The association hopes to bring in about 50,000 workers from Bangladesh through a government-to-government deal. The government is also urged to ensure that the hiring of Lao, Myanmarese and Cambodian labor will be financially sustainable for the industry.

The recruitment of Rohingya people into the fisheries industry will help address the labor problem. If the Rohingya refugees were deported they were likely to come back soon anyway, according to Mr. Chanthanimi.

Working conditions in the fishing industry had improved significantly, he said. More than 80% of the problems regarding labor contracts, benefits and compensation had been resolved and the association is clamping down on the remaining labor rights violations.

The industry is currently trying to cope with higher costs and the baht’s strong value, he added.