«Sampan Panjarat The United Nations-Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme 2007 - 2008 DIVISION FOR OCEAN AFFAIRS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA OFFICE OF ...»
DOF, Thailand. Statistic on Fisheries Production 2004, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative, Bangkok.
2006. 31-33 pp.
M. Supongpun. op. cit. 154-162 pp.
Source: FAO, “Thailand Capture” Capture Fisheries Production. FAO data base. 2005.; DOF, Thailand, Statistic on Fisheries Production 2004. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Bangkok.
(a) EEZs of other coastal States Thailand lost access to some 300,000 miles2 of ocean fishing grounds after establishment of EEZs by neighboring coastal States in 1977-1978.42 Soon after the delimitations, during 1983-1985, some Thai fishers still fished in the EEZs of those coastal States and consequently incidents of Thai fishing boats caught because of encroachment have been reported. The number of Thai fishing boats caught increased during 1986-1995 because of the stronger enforcement of those coastal States. Since 1996, arrests have decreased because of the stricter enforcement of those coastal States and also the joint fishing venture procurance (Table 6). The reasons that Thai fishers transgress into the EEZs of other coastal States is due to the high potential for the boats. Some Thai fishers can not adapt themselves to the EEZs of other coastal States. The intense fishing and effect of overexploitation of the inner Thai waters led the fishers to operate in the EEZs of other coastal States. The fishers accept the risk of arrest by neighboring countries because they want to fish in those areas.
The other complicated situation is that the EEZ declarations of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia created overlapping EEZs in the Gulf of Thailand43 (Figure 5). To solve the dispute, Thailand and Vietnam signed the Agreement on the Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Thailand, on 9 August 1997.44 However at this time, there are no resolutions about the overlap EEZs in Gulf of Thailand between Thailand and Cambodia, and between Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.45 Thus the fishers still do not know where the borders of EEZs are between the countries.
See United Nations, the legislations and treaties of Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and Malaysia;
Myanmar; Territorial Sea and Maritime Zone Law, 1977, Pyithu Hluttaw Law No. 3 of 9 April 1977; available from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/MMR_1977_Law.pdf;
Vietnam; Statement on the Territorial Sea, the Continuous Zone, the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelve of 12 May 1977; available from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/VNM_1977_Statement.pdf;
Cambodia; Statement Issued by the Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 15 January 1978; available from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/KHM_1978_Statement.pdf;
Philippines; Presidential Decree No. 1599 of 11 June 1978 establishing an Exclusive Economic Zone and other proposes; available from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/PHL_1978_Decree.pdf and Malaysia; Proclamation of the Economic Zone of 25 April 1978; available from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/MYS_1978_Proclamation.pdf.
Mom Ravin, “Law of the Sea: Maritime Boundaries and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms,” (New York:
United Nations-Nippon Foundation Fellowship on the Law of the Sea, 2005).
United Nations, Thailand, Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreements and other Materials. (cited 31 April 2007); available from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/STATEFILES/THA.htm.
P. Kemakorn. “Sustainable Management of Pelagic Fisheries in the South China Sea Region,” (United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Fellow New York, November, 2006).
n: data not available Source: DOF, Statistic of Thai boats and crews arrested by neighboring countries during 1983-2004 (in Thai). 2006. 1-1 pp.; Wudhichai Wangkahart, Chief of Ranong Marine Fisheries Station, Department of Fisheries. Personal communication. 25 July 2007.
- 21 Figure 5: Overlapping of Thailand’s EEZ with those of neighboring countries Source: W. Janekitkosol, Somchanakij, H., Eiamsa-ard, M., and Supongpan, M., "Strategic Review of the Fishery Situation in Thailand” 915-956 pp. In G. Silvestre, I Stobutzki, M. Ahmed, R.A.
Valmonte-Santoa, C. Luna, L. Lachina-Aliňo, P. Muńro, V. Christensen and D. Pauly (eds.) Assessment, Management and Future Direction for Coastal Fisheries in Asian Countries. WorldFish Center Conference Proceedings 67, 1: 120 p.
At present, there are about 4,000 Thai vessels operating in the EEZs of others coastal States of which over 2,000 have licenses. To overcome the effect of EEZs and boundary disputes with neighboring countries, the Thai Government has to find new fishing grounds for those vessels and promote private joint fishing ventures with foreign States aimed at alleviating the problem of limited fishing sources. This approach is being done in the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Australia, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Madagascar and Myanmar.46 At the same time, it is necessary for Thailand to control Thai fishers who seek to fish in the EEZs of other coastal States without authorization, installation a Vessel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand. (cited 9 June 2007); available from http://yuwathut.mfa.go.th/business/page67.php?id=7251
(b) High Sea Fisheries Thai tuna purse seine fisheries started in 2000 - 2001 with only one purse seiner. The annual catch was 1,530 tons in 2000 and 763 tons in 2001. It was not successful and ended.
In 2005, six new purse seiners operated and their annual catch was 11,937 tons (Table 7) Thai tuna longline fisheries have started in 2000 by only two vessels and increased to six vessels in 2005, the annual catches shown in Table 7.
Table 7: Annual catch by Thai tuna vessels
Source: IOTC, nominal catch database ([cited 31 April 2007]); available from http://www.iotc.org/English/data/databases.php.
There is a deep-sea fishery potential on the western coast of Thailand, in the Indian Ocean. Thailand is a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) since 1997 and started operating deep sea tuna fisheries in 2000. At present, Thailand has 15 tuna vessels Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) are used in commercial fishing to allow environmental and fisheries regulatory organizations to monitor, minimally, the position, time at a position, and course and speed of fishing vessels. They are a key part of monitoring control and surveillance (MCS) programs at the national and international levels. VMS may be used to monitor vessels in the territorial waters of a country or a subdivision of a country, or in the EEZ of coastal States.
- 23 fishing in the Indian Ocean including six purse seiners, six longliners and three researchtraining vessels.48 Thailand has supported the tuna fisheries investment that aimed to find the raw material to supply tuna canning factories. Thailand is now among the top exporting canned tuna countries in the world, but it must import about 80% of the raw material.49 Thailand is still at an initial stage in tuna fisheries. Acquisition of gear and modern fishing technology is needed, and it involves high initial investments. Only new private investors have expressed interest as it is difficult for the present fishers to adapt their boats and equipments for fishing in high sea fishing grounds.
Thailand fisheries are operated inside and outside its EEZ. There are two marine fishing grounds inside the EEZ: the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. The distinct and remarkable development of marine capture fisheries in its EEZ since 1970s has resulted not only in an increase of fishery production, leading Thailand to became among the top ten exporting countries in the world, but at the same time a decline of living resources. Catch and CPUE in its two main fishing grounds has decreased and reached the status of overfished for some time. Some fish supply that helps Thailand maintain its fisheries exports also comes from fishing conducted outside Thai EEZ. The fisheries take place both which in the EEZs of other coastal States and in the high sea. However, the freedom to fish in the waters near neighboring coastal States no longer exists with the establishment of the EEZ regime in those States. Thus, there is a high potential for Thai boats to come back to fish within Thai waters.
Thailand has to find alternative choices of income or find the new fishing grounds for those fishers such as joint fishing venture with other coastal States.
Even if there is a high potential for developing a fisheries in the high sea, especially tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean, such fisheries are only for new investors can invest large capital. It is not a choice for present fishers. However, the developments of the high sea fisheries in Thailand help to support the fish canning factories which need a large supply to maintain fisheries economic.
Thailand has to rehabilitate the marine resources in its EEZ urgently and also balance the utilization and conservation of the marine resources both in its EEZ and elsewhere.
IOTC, Record of Authorized Vessel 2007, Thailand, as October 2007. 2007. 1 p.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand. Thailand’s Seafood Production. Division of Economic Information, Department of Economic Affairs. Bangkok, 2004. 5 p.
A. Introduction The Andaman Sea is part of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs).50 The Andaman Sea contains one of the largest barrier reefs in the Indian Ocean and biologically rich in both diversity and abundance.51The coastal waters are rich in nutrients and two sources for these nutrients have been identified. The northern part, from Ranong to Phuket Provinces, is influenced by deep-sea upwelling processes of nutrient-rich deep-sea water; whereas the waters in the southern part are influenced by surface water runoffs transporting nutrient-rich freshwater into the coastal areas.52 There is a high level of species diversity of copepod communities,53 macrobenthic fauna, polychaeta, Crustaceans, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Chordata and other living organisms.54 The Andaman Sea coast is marked by mangrove forest and seagrass meadows distributed along the coastal belt. Large mangrove forests are the main habitat structure along the coast.55 On the northern stretch, the mangrove coverage ranges from 218 to 367 million m2, Large Marine Ecosystems were defined by Sherman and Alexander as “region of ocean space encompassing coastal areas from river basins and estuaries on out to the seaward boundary of continental shelves and the seaward boundary of coastal current systems. They are relatively large regions on the order of 200,000 km2 or larger, characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophically dependent population” in K. Sherman and L. M. Alexander, Variability and management of large marine ecosystem (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1986) see also L. M. Alexander, “Large Marine Ecosystem: A New focus for Marine Resources Management,” Marine Policy 17 (1993): 186-198; and K. Sherman, “ Sustainability, Biomass Yields, and Helth of Coastal Ecosystem: An Ecological Perspective,” Marine Ecology Progress series 112 (1994): 277-301; for a description of the Bay of Bengal see Aziz Ahmad, H.B., Luqueman, A., Atapattu, A., Chullasorn, S., et al, 1998. Regional stewardship for sustainable marine resources management in the Bay
of Bengal. In: K. Sherman, E. Okemwa and M. Ntiba (eds), “Large Marine Ecosystems of the Indian Ocean:
Assessment, Sustainability, and Management” Blackwell Science.
World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), Andaman Sea-A Global Ecoregion. 2006. 1 p.
V. Janecarn, Chullasorn, S. Environmental impacts on coastal fisheries along the west coast of Thailand. In: Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC): Environmental aspects of responsible fisheries. Proceedings of the APFIC Symposium Seoul, the Republic of Korea, 15-18 October 1996. FAO Bangkok. RAP Publication 1997. 1997/32: 222-233 pp.
S. Satapoomin, Torkel G. Nielsen, Per J. Hansen. Otto Kinne (editor). Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany International Ecology Institute, Nordbünte 23. Marine ecology progress series. Vol. 274. 24 June.
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.
U. Satapoomin, and Sombat, P. Fish fauna in the mangrove and Seagrass beds in the West Cost of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, Phuket Marine Biological Center. 1997. Technical Paper No. 2: 36 p.
- 25 whilst the southern stretch of mangrove areas ranges from 265 to 315 million m2. The seagrass meadows along the coast cover an area of 79 million m2.56 Fishes inhabiting mangroves and seagrass beds in the west coast of Thailand total 280 species, belonging to 75 families, of which 232 species (69 families) and 149 species (51 families) were found in mangrove and seagrass habitats, respectively. One hundred and one species (36%) were common to both habitats.57 This high biodiversity of the Andaman Sea is encountered from genes to individuals to species, habitats, and ecosystems. The coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds, marine lakes and deep sea valleys of the region form a constellation of diverse habitats that support a spectacular variety of flora and fauna.58 The concentration of the resources attracts people to live along the coast and depend on them to earn their living.
B. Social Structure of Fisheries Communities in the Andaman Sea Coast
There are 23 coastal Provinces surrounding the two main fishing areas. They are divided into five internal administrative coastal fisheries zones; four zones in the gulf of Thailand (17 Provinces) and the six Provinces along the Andaman Sea coast are ranked in the fifth zone (Figure 6).