Thailand rushes to combat illegal fishing after European Union threatens to ban its seafood

Thai officials say they are rushing to crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing in a bid to avoid the European Union's threat to ban seafood import from the country.

The EU gave Thailand six months to drastically combat illegal and unregulated fishing or face a seafood import ban.

Agriculture Minister Petipong Pungbun said Wednesday the ministry was seeking a shortcut to speed up the enforcement of the recently passed law regulating the country's fishing.

He said the authorities will implement a series of measures to combat the problem, including a vessel monitoring system that can trace the fishing boats.

Thailand is a major exporter of seafood, with yearly revenues of almost 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), and an EU ban would seriously affect the industry.