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Asia Dive News : Thai fishermen fear for future stocks

Concerns are rising over fishermen using illegal ring nets and other illegal fishing practices that are damaging the environment and reducing the fish and squid population.

There is now considerable pressure upon the 300 squid fishing groups in Samaesarn, near Pattaya, who are finding their catch and their income dwindling fast, and fear that the local industry will soon cease altogether.

Small legal fishing boats are experiencing problems catching squid.

Thongchai Bamrungban, deputy chief of Samaesarn sub-district and chairman of the Samaesarn Squid Fishing Group said that for a long time the Samaesarn fishermen have been facing problems. The numbers of squid and fish are decreasing rapidly through fishing boats using large ring-nets, which are illegal. They use a light to attract the fish and then pull them in with the net. The holes in their nets are smaller than the legal limit, and a lot of small fish are caught as well. This means that the younger generation of fish is being caught, and consequently the stocks are depleting.

Thongchai said that it is important the authorities stop the ring-net fishing, because if they don't the small, legal fishing boats will be put out of business. They have already requested a stop to this by writing to associated departments, but nothing has happened.

Source: Pattaya Mail