A Conference for Fisheries Knowledge Provision to Local Fishers and Private Sectors in the Gulf of Thailand
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As the project “Strategies for trawl fisheries by-catch management” (REBYC-II CTI; GCP/RAS/269/GFF) was concluding, it was found necessary that more primary stakeholder consultations need to be organised to disseminate results of the project and the knowledge about the status of small scale fisheries. The new laws concerning to small scale fishers, especially Royal Fisheries Ordinance 2559 (2015) which is concerned to small scale fisheries and fishers was also disseminated. It is also important that the fisheries management measures in Thailand are also in tune with global guidelines and demands. So for the benefit of the fishers and other stakeholders from the Gulf of Thailand side this conference was organized on 22-24 June 2016 at Haad Thong Hotel Prachuap Kiri Khan Province. Total participants were 150 comprising of, 5 experts, 40 government officials, 100 stakeholders (fishers, Fisheries Societies of provinces, Cooperative Saving Society, Fish processors, fish landing site representatives, and representatives from Thai Union Company), secretariat and 5 organizers. On the Gulf of Thailand the first site of the project was in Prachuab Kiri Khan and Chumphon provinces where the enlarged mesh size codend for trawl fisheries was tried out and implemented. The second site was in Trat province, where the management measures for closed area and closed season was established to protect fish larvae and spawners. In Trat Province, DOF had conducted survey for fish larvae and spawner distribution in Ao Trat. In Prachup Kiri Khan – Chumphon provinces, CMDEC had conducted a survey of trawl fisheries baseline, present trawl fisheries status, experiment to enlarge codend mesh for trawlers as well as socio-economic study of fishers along the sea coast of Prachaup Kiri Khan – Chumphon provinces. In Rayong and Chantaburi waters, the capture of small sized economic fish from trawler was over 60%. The size composition of small sized economic fish was below their first maturity sizes except for shellfish which was incidental catch, in Trat. The increase in mesh size is found to help release of juveniles of commercially important fish. Though the quantity of catch came down, the long-term economic benefit was shown to be better. As a next step for fisheries in Thailand, the government should develop the fisheries through effective co-management, stakeholder participation at all levels with the local and central government as well as other relevant agencies. Control or limit on fishing efforts, fishing zone establishment, increase fish habitats by increasing Artificial Reefs project, resource enhancement, sea farming, VMS and MCS system should be implemented with the cooperation of the local stakeholders or fishers. Regarding the status of fisheries, it could be concluded that the internal problems were a) decreasing trend of the resources and environment deterioration, b) less fishing ground, and limited catches, c) too many numbers of fishing boats, gear and diversification, d) poor integration and management among agencies e.g. boat license is under Harbor Department and fishing boat and gear license is under the Department of Fisheries, e) conflict on fishing ground between large scale and small scale fisheries. The external requirements were a) combating IUU fishing is a serious issue for Thailand also to address the EU requirement, b) norms of IOTC for tuna catch quota, WCPFC, ILO for decent work and labour rights etc. The Royal Fisheries Ordinance B.E.2558 (2015) has focused specifications on small scale fishers. The zonations for fishing, gear specifications and prohibited gears in different sections were described. The importance of the national committee, provincial committee and local small scale fisheries committee were described. The ordinance puts all efforts to combat IUU fishing. Marine Fisheries Plan (2015-2019), has focus on marine fisheries both commercial and small scale fisheries in Thai waters including in the EEZs of neighboring countries and in the High Sea.
Supongpan, D., Peakaue, M., Department of Fisheries, & Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. (2016). A Conference for Fisheries Knowledge Provision to Local Fishers and Private Sectors in the Gulf of Thailand. Training Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center
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