It has been reported that around 50,000 Myanmar workers who are employed in the fishing industry of central Thailand have resigned from their jobs and decided to go back home. While many are still left, there are reports circulating that many more are going to follow suit.
According to the head of fisheries association based in Samut Sakorn province, Kamjorn Mongkoltreeluck, thousands of migrant workers that have been under their employment for many years have decided that they wanted to go back to their home country. They also expressed that they will not be coming back again to look for jobs in Thailand.
Samut Sakorn is located about 35 kilometers away from the southwest part of Bangkok and it contains the largest fishing, food processing as well as frozen seafood industry in Thailand.
Majority of the Myanmar migrants have been employed as workers under the fishing and food processing industry, other are unskilled laborers that work in the construction sector and some are home maids.
According to Kamjorn, many of these Myanmar migrants have decided to resign from their jobs because the fishing boats they are using have been anchored for too long since it either does not have the proper monitoring equipment or it is not equipped with operating licenses. Using these boats will mean that they are not following the regulations set by the Fisheries Department or they may be caught by the European Union for it is considered IUU or Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing business.
Based on the regulations from the department, it is also require for the fishing boats to be out in the open sea and fishing for a maximum limit of 220 days every year and must stay anchored on shore for the remaining 145 days.
The EU is a constant buyer of fishery products from Thailand amounting to $500 million US every year and they have expressed their desire to the Thai authorities that there must be no illegal migrants or under-aged workers nor there be abused going on aboard the trawlers. These Myanmar workers decided to look for jobs in their own country rather than opt for jobs in Thailand.