The Department of Fisheries is expediting the renewal of sea books for registering migrant workers to shore up labour shortages in the industry.
The move to speed up the issuance of sea books was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, according to the department director-general, Meesak Pakdeekong.
The labour shortage in the fishery industry is blamed on the Covid-19 pandemic which drove many migrant workers back to their home countries. For those who remain in fishery jobs, their sea books are renewed every day.
Mr Meesak said some sea books expired in May while the deadline for renewal of the documents held by others is fast approaching.
He said fishery was a labour-intensive sector and so it cannot afford to be disrupted by a shortage of workers.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who chairs the National Fishery Policy Committee, has issued a directive to various agencies to help those whose sea books have expired to continue their employment and quickly grant them a new book.
The migrant workers whose books are expiring will have them renewed soon.
The department is meeting officials from provincial fishery offices and fishery operator associations nationwide today to discuss how renewal can be done quickly.
The workers eligible to have their yellow sea books extended must be migrants issued with the books under a March 31, 2020 cabinet resolution.
The migrants must have properly signed an employment contract whose form is accepted by the Labour Ministry.
They also must possess a medical certificate that declares them Covid-19 free as well as health insurance with at least a year of coverage. The migrant workers are required to submit their biometric data to the Immigration Bureau.