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«Sampan Panjarat The United Nations-Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme 2007 - 2008 DIVISION FOR OCEAN AFFAIRS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA OFFICE OF ...»

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-1While those fisheries problems were difficult enough, problems were further complicated by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.6 Known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, the event was a great undersea earthquake that occurred on December 26th, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most land masses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing large numbers of people and inundating coastal communities across South and Southeast Asia, including parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and the six Provinces along the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. No one knows exactly how many people perished in the tsunami, but official tallies put the number of known dead at over 181,000 and another 50,000 unaccounted for, or a total of over 231,000 from 12 countries from Southeast Asia to East Africa.7 In Thailand, hundreds of thousands of people have been affected. Nearly 500 fishing villages along the Andaman coast were seriously affected, about 30,000 households dependent on fisheries have lost their means of livelihood with over 10,000 fishing boats, and 7,000 sets of fishing gear have been destroyed or damaged.8 In many affected areas, traditional social communities were wiped out. Although there were many recovery and rehabilitation projects undertaken by the Thai Government, international organizations and NGOs, the tsunami created many long-term difficulties for fishers.

This report provides a broad view of Thailand’s physical profile, Thailand’s fisheries status, both of fishing in the Thai territorial sea and EEZ, and outside its EEZ. The report then focuses on the status of the Andaman Sea coast fisheries, describing the social structure of the fisheries communities, and a structure of capture fisheries which compose of the nature of fisheries, and outlining stress factors and problems. The report also provides an overview of fisheries laws and policy at the global, regional, and national level, as well as a discussion on the implementation at each level framework. Conclusion and recommendations for sustainable fisheries management are presented, including the potential approaches for long term effective managements.

J. Park, Anderson, K., Aster, R., Botler, R., Lay T., and Simson, D. Global Seismographic Network Records the Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake Eos, Vol. 86, No. 6, 8 February 2005. 57-64 pp.

UNDP, Survivors of the tsunami: One Year Later. The tsunami: a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions. 2-4 pp. In UNDP report, Daniel Shepard (ed.). 2005. 22 p.

AFRDEC, Data of Tsunami Recovery and Rehabilitation for Fisheries Sector in Thailand. Phuket, 2005. 3 p.

–  –  –

Thailand is a peninsular country in the middle of mainland Southeast Asia, lying between 5°-20° N and 97°-106° E. (Figure 1), with a total land area of approximately 514,000 km2 divided into 76 Provinces. There are 23 coastal Provinces surrounding the two main fishing areas, the Gulf of Thailand (17 Provinces) with a coastline of approximately 2,700 km (1,143 miles) and the Andaman Sea (six Provinces) 865 km (537 miles), the EEZ of Thailand covers 420,280 km2: 304,000 km2 in the Gulf of Thailand and 116,280 km2 in the Andaman Sea. Its maritime border is shared with Cambodia and Vietnam in the south east, Myanmar in the west and Malaysia in the south. Thailand’s EEZ within the Gulf of Thailand included overlapping areas between Thailand and Cambodia (34,000 km2), Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam (14,000 km2) and Thailand and Malaysia (4,000 km2).9 N. Nakthon. Marine Territory of Thailand and Neighbouring Countries. Hydrograph Department, Royal Thai navy. Master of Science Thesis (in Thai). 1992. 1-9 pp.

–  –  –

EEZ 116280 km2 Figure 1: Thailand and adjacent oceans Source: United Nations, Map No. 3853 Rev. 1, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Cartographic Section (January 2004[cited 31 April 2007]); available from http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/thailand.pdf.

-4The Gulf of Thailand has a maximum depth of 85 m and is covered by a sandy and muddy bottom. Water from the west, northwest mountains and the high eastern plain flow to the Gulf of Thailand through four river systems: the Chao Phraya; Tha Chin; Mae Klong;

and the Bang Pakong.

On the west coast, there are six Provinces, namely: Ranong, Phang-Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and Satun. The west coast of Thailand has a narrow continental shelf and deepens offshore. Inshore, areas within three km have an average dept of about three m. It has a slightly wider area in the north and a narrow area in the south; the latter area comprising mangroves and sea grasses. The bottom for the most part is sand, mud and coral remnants. Tidal currents and along shore flows dominate the water circulation along the Andaman Coast. The water movements vary with the monsoon period, nearshore surface water generally move northward during the northeast monsoon and southward during the southwest monsoon. The water of the northern region (Ranong to Phuket) has a high salinity (32.9-33.4 ppt) due to deep sea upwelling, while the southern region (Phuket to Satun) has a lower salinity range (32.0-32.8 ppt) due to the influence of surface run-off. The temperature range along the Andaman Sea Coast is 27.6-29.3◦C.10

B. Biodiversity

Thailand’s coastal habitats are biologically complex due to the variability of their taxonomic composition, overall community structure, topography and oceanographic condition. The biological complexity and variability of tropical nearshore environments are perhaps influenced by tropical rain forest monsoon winds, tidal currents and river discharges creating complex circulation patterns including downwellings and upwellings. Taxonomic composition, overall community structure and topography conditions vary widely along the coastal zone, even over short distances. Nevertheless, nearshore ecosystems commonly comprise three distinct, but intimately interdependent habitats: mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows with unconsolidated sand or mud bottoms. The ecological and economic importance of these habitats extends beyond the exploitable species that use them

and is described below:

M. Eiamsa-ard, and Amornchairojkul, S. 1997. The Marine Fisheries of Thailand, with emphasis on the Gulf of Thailand trawl fisheries, 85-95 pp. In G.T. Silvestreband and D. Pauly (Eds.) Status and Management of the tropical coastal fisheries in Asia. ICLARM Conf. Proc. 53, 208 p.

-5Coral: coral and coral reefs are dominant shallow water features of tropical marine environments that are remote from major upwelling or fresh water inflows. Broadly defined, a coral reef comprises both the physical structure formed from calcareous secretion of coral and other marine organisms. Large coral colonies may contain tens of thousands of individual polyps, and reef can be hundreds or thousands of years old. It is the carbonate skeleton of these shallow water marine organism that form the massive reef structure protecting coastlines and creating habitat for the associated biota.11 The economic good and services of coral reefs include: the creation of complex habitats for a variety of fishes and other important organism; the role of reefs as barriers to storm wave and debris; and the aesthetic and recreational value of reefs in attracting coastal tourism.

Over 300 major coral reefs, covering approximately 12,000 km2, have been identified in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Blasting of coral reefs is reported to be declining in many places because of public awareness but reef degradation continue due to factors including sediment and pollution from waste water discharge associated with rapid and uncontrolled coastal development.12 After the 2004 tsunami, 22% of 174 survey sites along the Andaman Sea Coast suffered while over 31% were damaged.13 Mangrove: According to the first mangrove forest assessment in 1961, mangroves covered an area of nearly 3,678 million m2, with 37.1% in the Gulf of Thailand and approximately 60% on the southern Thai coastline.14 Mangroves are an integral component of coastal ecosystems and fulfill many fundamentally important functions for coastal ecology and the local economy. Mangroves supply wood and other forest products and contribute to coastal productivity. As prop roots develop and spread, they trap and stabilize terrigenouse sediment, building land and protecting reefs and lagoons from agricultural and urban pollution. Mangroves support an extremely diverse and important community of marine plants, invertebrate and seabirds and provide shelter and nursery for a rage of commercially important fish. Mangrove detritus provides an important nutrient base for food webs that S. Suraswadi. The policy of the department of fisheries for community-based coastal fisheries management.

In Nickerson DJ (ed.) 1998: Communities Based fishery management in the Phang Nga Bay. Thailand.

Proceeding of the National Workshop on Communities based management organized by the Department of Fisheries of Thailand. FAO and the Bay of Bengal Programme, Phuket, Thailand, 14-16 February 1996. FAO Bangkok. RAP Publication 1998/3 (BOBP) Report No. 78: 35-53 pp.

S. Sudara. Who and what is to be involve in successful coastal zone management: Thailand example. Ocean and Coastal Management, Vol. 42 (1999). 1999. 39-47 pp.

R. Mather. Coral Reef Management and Conservation in Andaman Sea Marine Protected Areas, After the Tsunami. 2005. 8 p.

U. Hampanya, Vermaat J. E., Sinsakul S. and Panapitakkul N. Coastal erosion and mangrove progradation of Southern Thailand. Estuarine, coastal and shelf science. 2006, Vol. 68, No. 1-2: 75-85 pp.

-6include commercially important food fish and invertebrate and augment the growth of adjacent seagrass and coral reef community.15 Like coral reefs, mangroves protect the coast from storm damage and protected many of the people in villages along the Andaman Sea coast from the 2004 tsunami. Much of the mangrove area was lost during the first extensive phase of brackish water shrimp farming in the 1980s.16 Despite recent measures to control encroachment on mangroves and efforts to replant in degraded areas, including the area impacted by tsunami, deforestation has continued though at a slower rate.17 Seagrass beds: Seagrass and mud bottoms within lagoons and between the shore and reef crests serve many crucial ecological functions and are of direct and indirect economic importance to coastal communities. The associated sand, coral rubble, fish and invertebrate are commonly harvested for material and food throughout the coralline area of Thailand.18 Nine species of seagrass are found in 13 Provinces along the Gulf of Thailand19 while the seagrass meadows along the Andaman Sea coast cover an area of 79 million m2.20 The sand and mud bottom on which seagrass beds form create a habitat for many burrowing and benthic organisms. The leaves and interwoven roots provide extensive shelter for small organisms and gazing surfaces for a variety of species. Many species migrate to and from seagrass either daily or at fixed stages during their life cycle.21 The degradation of seagrass beds is due to waste water discharge from coastal industry, urban development, shrimp farms and other forms of coastal development.

Trawling and the use of push nets and dragnets can also cause severe impacts on seagrasses.

After the 2004 tsunami, 3.5% of seagrass areas along the Andaman Sea were impacted through siltation and sand sedimentation, while 1.5% suffered total habitat loss.22 Marine Wildlife: Thailand’s coastal habitat hosts a number of fauna species, especially along the Andaman coast, there are 16 Marine National Parks (MNPs) on the S. Suraswadi. op. cit. 38-38 pp.

M. Kaosa-ard and Pednekar S. S. 1998. Background report in the Thai marine rehabilitation plan 1997-2002.

Natural resources and environmental program. Thailand Development Research Institute, Bangkok, 111 p.

USAID, Thailand: Replanting mangrove forest. Washington, DC. 2006. 1-1 pp.

S. Suraswadi. op. cit. 39-39 pp.

S. Sudara. 1999. Who and what is to be involve in successful coastal zone management: Thailand example.

Ocean and Coastal Management, Vol. 42 (1999). 39-47 pp.

U. Seenprachawong. An Economic Analysis of Coral Reefs in the Andaman Sea of Thailand. Output Research Reports of research projects supported by the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), 2001. 42 p.

S. Suraswadi. op. cit. 39-39 pp.

UNEP, Natural Rapid Environmental Assessment: Thailand. 36-55 pp. In UNEP report. After the Tsunami:

Rapid environmental assessment. 2005. 140 p.

-7coast and four of them have been proposed to be listed as World Natural Heritage Sites.23 The Andaman Sea is host to many threatened fauna species, including Dugong (Dugong dugon) which is globally vulnerable, a number of dolphin species, and four species of sea turtles: leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)-critical endangered, green turtle (Chelonia mydas)-threatened, hawksbill turtle (Eletmochelys imbricata)-critical endangered and olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). Some 150 dugongs are estimate to live in the Andaman Sea, in scattered groups from Ranong to Satun Province. Accidental catch dugong in nets and the degradation of seagrass meadows are the two main threats to dugong.24 The ecological and economic importance of these habitats to communities of the coast extends beyond the particular exploitable species within them. Coastal habitats provide the foundation for small scale fisheries, aquaculture, wood production and fuel, village settlements, tourism, urban development, ports and harbors and numerous other activities.

C. Marine Fisheries Resources Potential and Trends Thailand is among the top ten fish exporting countries of the world. In 2004, the total capture fisheries production was 2.8 million tons (Figure 2).

T. Sethapun. Marine National Park in Thailand. Department of National Park, Wild Life and Plant Conservation, Ministry of National Resources. 2000. 1-1 pp.

UNEP, op. cit. 36-55 pp.

–  –  –

Source: FAO, World review of fisheries and aquaculture. 8-8 pp. In The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture SOFIA-2004. 127 p.

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