«Sampan Panjarat The United Nations-Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme 2007 - 2008 DIVISION FOR OCEAN AFFAIRS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA OFFICE OF ...»
Traditionally, the management of coastal fisheries in Thailand has been centralized. DOF is the sole agency with the mandate for the management of coastal fisheries and all management measures have been established by DOF without consulting fishers or other stakeholders. The central management authorities delegate only very limited management functions and responsibilities to the local level. Thus, DOF has difficulty in obtaining positive results in coastal fishery resources conservation and management and the fishers do not accepted or have negative attitudes regarding fisheries measures established by DOF. 339 The United Nations defined decentralization as The transfer of authority on a geographic basis whether by de-concentration (i.e., delegation) of administrative authority to field units of the same department or level of Government or by the political devolution of authority to local Government units or special statutory bodies.340 S. Panjarat, et al. 2005. Fishermen’s Attitude on Conservation Measure of Phang-Nga Bay during Spawning Season. op. cit. 52 p.; S. Panjarat, 2005. Fishermen’s Attitude on Management of Blue Swimming Crab Resources in the Andaman Sea. op cit. 52 p.; S. Panjarat, et al. Fishermen’s Attitude on Management of Blue Swimming Crab Resources in The Andaman Sea. op. cit. 37 p.
United Nations, Decentralization for national and local development. ST/TAO/M/19 United Nations, New York. 1962. 246 p.
- 101 The decentralization of fisheries Management is a generic term that describes the delegation of selected fisheries management responsibilities and functions to local government, community organizations or institutions.341 Decentralization is especially applicable in the Andaman Sea coast where over 20,000 fisher households operate and depend on fishing. The proposed management law and strategies will facilitate closer contact and interaction with fishers and stakeholders, and will make Government support services more effective. To support the decentralization approach, a Provincial Fishery Management Committee should be established in every coastal Province with the mandate of managing the fishery in Provincial fishing grounds.
The Members of Provincial committee should include small-scale fishers, commercial fishers, and the chairman of Tumbon (Sub-district) Administrative Organization (TAO).342 At present, Thai Fisheries Cooperatives are not active in fishery management due to the constraints of the legal framework and fisheries cooperatives management.
Furthermore, the decentralization process can not be effective unless human resources are present at the central and local levels including stakeholders.343 Thailand has to prepare and develop human resources capacity, especially the local community and institutions in order to take up additional responsibilities and strengthen their capacity for decentralization. Promotion and training for decentralization should be provided to both the Government and fishers, starting with each level simultaneously and continuing.
2. Rights-based Fisheries management strategy
Rights based fishery has been defined as “a fisheries in which the right to fish or use fisheries resources is granted to resources user and regulated by the competent authority.”344 In return, the holder of the fishing rights has the obligation to comply with rules and regulations of the right based management system. Under this system, fisheries P. Wongsawang, 2003. Innovative Fisheries Management for the ASEAN Region: Is Decentralization the Right Answer? Fish for the People. Vol. 1. 17-22 pp.
K. Juntarashote, 2004. Decentralized management the new approach of Thai coastal fishery management. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade. Corvallis, Oregon, (USA).
P. Wongsawang, 2003. Innovative Fisheries Management for the ASEAN Region: Is Decentralization the Right Answer? Fish for the People. Vol. No. 1. 17-22 pp.
- 102 input, such as number of fishing vessel or fishers, the type of fishing gear, the fishing season and fishing grounds, will be effectively controlled as locally agreed in a transparent manner and with full stakeholders participation.345 This participatory approach, with local stakeholder’s involvement is the key to rights based fisheries. And to effectively define and allocate fishing rights, right-based fishery management regimes must be based on accurate information for each fishery.
To implement a rights based fisheries management strategy in Thailand, all fishing boats must be registered where they are intended to operate. All types of fishing gears must also be registered for the fishing ground in which they are intended to be used. Vessel markings will be imposed so that fishing boats are easily identifiable at a distance.
Commercial fishing boats may be required to install a tracking device. The Coastal radio stations may also be used to monitor and assist fishing boats. This approach would be an effective instrument to replace open access in Thailand. One of the present problems is that there is not enough funding for the Government to support a patrol service to inspect illegal fishing in all areas, so this approach will reduce costs through share inspections with the local stakeholders. In addition, it will stop the movement of the vessels between fishing grounds thereby contributing to the resolution of conflict between fishers.
3. Ecosystem-based Management Strategy
The Ecosystem-based management has been defined by the FAO:
An ecosystem approach to fisheries strives to balance diverse societal objectives, by taking into account the knowledge and uncertainties about biotic, abiotic and human components of ecosystems and their interactions and applying an integrated approach to fisheries within ecologically meaningful boundaries.346 Ibid.
FAO, Ecosystem-based Approach to Management (Fisheries Management), Definition used by others.
2003. 5-5 pp. In Strengthening Scientific input and Ecosystem-Based fisheries management for the Pacific and North Pacific Fisheries Management Councils. Suggestions from a panel discussion July 19-20, 2005 Seattle, Washington. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. 2005. 42 p.
- 103 In ecosystem based management, the associated human population and economic or social system are seen as integral part of the ecosystem with multiple scales (Table 21). Most importantly, ecosystem based management is concerned with the processes of change within the living system.347 Ecosystem based management therefore is designed and executed as an adaptive, learning based process that applies the principle of the scientific method to the processes of management.348 Table 21: Ecosystem-Based Management as a paradigm Shift
Source: Lubchenco (1994) in Stephen B., Olsen, Jon G. Sutinen, Lawrence Juda, Timothy M.
Hennessey and Thomas A. Grigalunas. 2006. A handbook on Governance and Socioeconomics of Large Marine Ecosystem. 3-3 pp.
4. Community Based Management Strategy Community Based Management (CBFM) is a system in which fishers and their communities exercise primary responsibility for stewardship and management, including taking part in decision making on all aspects of management, such as harvesting, access, compliance, research and marketing. Other features of CBFM include local control, a focus on the ecosystem rather than on specific species, power sharing, and a common interest in and responsibility for, common resources.349 For several reasons, CBFM would be an appropriate strategy for the management of Thailand fisheries. In 1995, CBFM initiative projects were implemented in Phang-Nga Bay B., Stephen Olsen, Jon G. Sutinen, Juda Lawrence, Timothy M. Hennessey and Thomas A. Grigalunas.
2006. A handbook on Governance and Socioeconomics of Large Marine Ecosystem. 96 p.
Michael L. Waber and Suzanne Iudicello. Obstacles and Opportunities for Communities Based Management in the United States. September 2005. 101 p.
- 104 of Andaman Sea coast.350 The results of the programs have created better overall outcomes and success, especially in terms of participation and equity. The project established a central market for the auction of fish catch that cut out the middle men. The central market is a cooperative and administrated by the members of the village. The economic security leads the fishers who were seriously concerned about the degradation of the fishery resources and coastal ecosystems, to fully participate in the management of fisheries resources and their traditional fisheries for sustainable use.351 The project sites became local study points for other fisheries management plans. The lessons learned from Phang-Nga Bay projects could be applied in other coastal areas of Thailand.
The key conditions for the success of CBFM have been identified as: socioeconomic status of communities such as homogeneity of community and dependence on fisheries, active participation cooperation and coordination of stakeholders and follow-up and evaluation by the responsible organization.352
5. Co-management Strategy
Co-management can be defined as a partnership arrangement in which the fishers and Government share the responsibility and authority for the management of fisheries (Figure 8). Through consultation and negotiation the partners develop a formal agreement on their respective roles responsibilities and management rights.353 Nickerson, D.J.Community-based Fisheries Management in Phang-nga Bay, Thailand - BOBP/REP/78 Phuket, Thailand; 14-16 February 1996 Series title: Non serial publications - REP78 1998. 227 p.
J. Pimoljinda, Boonraksa V. Community-Based fisheries Co-management, Case-Study: Phang-Nga Bay, Thailand. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Fisheries Co- management. 34 p.
R. Pomeroy. Fisheries Co-Management. A fact sheet for Connecticut Fishermen. Sea Grant Connecticut.
Publication number CTSG-04-01. 2 p.
Source: R. Pomeroy. Fisheries Co-Management. A fact sheet for Connecticut Fishermen.
Sea Grant Connecticut. Publication number CTSG-04-01. 2 p.
Many experts suggest that a co-management strategy is appropriate for the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand354 due to the nature of fishing conduct, range of fishers in the area that lack of territoriality of fishing location and overlapping fishing range between communities and based on the species targets by fishery.355And any co-management scheme for the area will need to be widely implemented.
As Stated previously, it is difficult to successfully promote a single approach to fisheries management. Alternative approaches should be use as a basis for fisheries in Thailand The strategies should be adapted, adjusted or mixed together for the most appropriate in each area. For evaluating the integrated management regimes, it should contain the recover of the fisheries resources either in term of CPUE or income of fishers and reduce the conflict among the resources user. And first of the most it should be balancing between the utilization and economic need of fishing community and recruitment or the producing of the sea at the sustainable level.
Yves Henocque and Sanchai Tandavanitj. 2004. From community-based management to Co-management, Thailand’s Experience. Fish for the People. Vol. 2. No. 1. 17-22 pp.; B. Crawford, Trip Report January 7-19, 2006, Post tsunami Sustainable Coastal Livelihood Program. 1-11 pp.
B. Crawford, Trip Report January 7-19, 2006, Post tsunami Sustainable Coastal Livelihood Program.
- 106 Nowadays fisheries resources management is more complex, dynamic and multifaceted. For Thailand, to overcome the problems and ensure sustainable fisheries, effective instruments should be harmoniously implemented all levels: global, regional, national and local. However all measure must also respect the capacity of the fisheries resources. The success of sustainable fisheries management in Thailand will be gainful not only for Thai people but it also for the security and sustainability of food resources for many other people in the World.
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