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>> Thailand's fish are disappearing, threatening a multi-billion dollar industry. Years of over-fishing killing off stocks in the Gulf of Thailand, prompting fishermen to head out to protected water and boost their catch illegally. Bangkok is cracking down on law breakers, but environmental groups say they're just part of a far wider problem.
As Reuters Cod Satrusayang explains.>> What's often under reported and not even calculated into the solutions of returning the fish population is the impact of climate change upon the Gulf of Thailand. Now, warming ocean means that fish are disappearing because they're losing not only their habitat, but their food source.
And they're being pushed into deeper water, where they feel more comfortable.>> The EU has warned Thailand to clean up its fishing industry, or face a ban on seafood exports. Bangkok has responded by ordering boats to register, and banning those that don't meet a certain standard. It's also sunk dozens of illegal vessels, to spur new coral growth.
At stake about $7 billion a year.>> Now a significant part of this goes to the EU, around $500 to $600 million every year. If we lose that export quota to the EU, other countries might also jump on board and say, hey, you're not doing such a great job regulating your fishing industry.
We're gonna put you on probation like the EU has, as well. So there's absolutely an imperative on this government to do well in combating illegal fishing.>> Critics say the government has done nothing to address climate change, and that new regulations are largely futile. Because as long as fish are seeking colder waters, fishermen will follow them out.
Whether it's legal or not.