The Bangkok Post quoted National Fisheries Association of Thailand President Phubet Chanthanimi as saying that they hoped to bring in about 50,000 workers from Bangladesh through a government-to-government deal.
He warned that the labour shortage could bring the whole industry to a halt.
In a report published on Tuesday, the newspaper said the Association even proposed that Rohingya people smuggled into Thailand and detained near the Malaysian border in Songkhla province are registered as foreign workers for recruitment into the industry.
The Thai government has also been urged to ensure that the hiring of Lao, Myanmarese and Cambodian labour will be financially sustainable for the industry.
Chanthanimi said the recruitment of Rohingya people into the fisheries industry will help address the labour problem. If the Rohingya refugees were deported they were likely to come back soon anyway, he said.
Working conditions in the fishing industry had improved significantly, the Bangkok Post said. More than 80 percent of the problems regarding labour contracts, benefits and compensation had been resolved and the association is clamping down on the remaining labour rights violations.
The industry is currently trying to cope with higher costs and the Thai baht’s strong value, the Association chief added.bdnews24.com