Gulf of Thailand Fishing Ban Enacted


Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
February 17, 2009

Beginning 15 May, fishing in a 26,400-square-kilometer area of the Gulf of Thailand will be banned in a move to comply with the country’s marine conservation policy.

The ban will help preserve stocks in waters vital to the seafood industry’s well being. Speaking in Bangkok, Somying Piumsombun, head of the Thailand Fisheries Department, said the ban will last three months in the area off Chumpon, Prachuap Kin Kan and Surat Hani provinces. 

Fishermen who violate the ban will be fined THB 5,000 to 10,000 (USD 150 to 300, EUR 110 to 220), jailed for up to one year, or both.

Sa-ngiam Samranrat, president of the Chumpon Fisheries Association, whose members will be most effected by the ban, agreed that the ban is necessary.  He said the ban will help improve breeding in an area where spawning can be affected by harmful fishing gear.

However, concerns have been voiced that the ban does not go far enough. The Asean Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation has suggested that the management of Thailand’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is weak.

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