Thailand’s removal from the European Union’s illegal-fishing watch list has been welcomed by the country’s fisheries industry. (Photo by Marimi Kishimoto)

BANGKOK — The European Union’s decision Tuesday to remove Thailand from a list of countries warned over illegal fishing is being met with relief by big Thai seafood companies that had feared being locked out of the huge European market.

“I want to congratulate the Royal Thai Government for its efforts to bring change to the country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,” said Thai Union Group CEO Thiraphong Chansiri. “The improvements to regulation and enforcement of the fishing industry have been significant, not only in terms of traceability and the sustainable development of the fisheries but also in terms of eliminating human rights violations.”

The company, the world’s largest producer of canned tuna, derives 30% of its revenue from Europe. Its shares climbed as much as 6% at one point Wednesday on the news.

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