Fri, August 12, 2022

in-focus

Clampdown on illegal mackerel fishing vital to protect species, says Fisheries Association


The National Fisheries Association has urged the Thai government to take strong action to protect short-bodied mackerel, which are “near extinction”. The association points to what they say is the illegal use of submerged gill nets along coastal areas during the egg-laying season.

“I put my position at stake. I will quit if the Fisheries Department strictly forbids the use of gill nets during the short-bodied mackerel's egg-laying season, but the number of short-bodied mackerel does not increase,” association president Mongkol Sukcharoenkhana said.
Though the Fisheries Department has officially closed fishing in the Gulf of Thailand’s bays during the species’ egg-laying season, many of the 70,000-80,000 local fishing boats continue to illegally fish along coastal areas. They use gill nets, which catch a large number of the breeding mackerel that are still carrying eggs in their bodies.
Mongkol said that, although a gill net is not an illegal tool, many traditional fishing boats are using larger than permitted nets. While a traditional boat was allowed to use up to 2,500 metres of gill nets, some were using nets of 10,000 to 20,000 metres.
Mongkol urged that the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister act against the boats violating the laws and impose strict control via a fishing licence registration and through requiring detailed log books of the fishermen.
Mongkol added that the government had imposed strict regulations and laws in the past five years to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), but their actions were, he alleged, based on information obtained from those who had “twisted facts”. As a result, moves to tackle IUU have not been effective and have caused negative impacts on all fishermen, he said.

Published : July 02, 2019

By : The Nation