ROYAL THAI NAVY LAUNCHES MARINE VOLUNTEEER PROGRAM

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Navy Region 1 join training fisherman

The Royal Thai Navy Sector 1, with cooperation of the chair of Pran Buri Fisherman Association, has recently organized a training for volunteers on protection of the Gulf of Thailand.

The chair of Pran Buri Fisherman Association Mr. Atichart Chaisri said that the training took place in Pak Nam Pran of Pran Buri and consisted of 100 trainees, most of whom are local fishermen. The aim of the activity is to enable the participant to realize current problems in the Gulf of Thailand, particularly in the coastal area of Prachuab Khirikhan. The main problems concern trespassing of water territory made by foreign vessels and natural disaster. Since the participants are local fishermen who have their own fishing boats, when they find any problems in open water, they can contact authorities of RTN Sector 1 and give exact information about the problems for further investigation.

Mr. Atichart added that, as the chair of Pran Buri Fisherman Association, he was responsible for taking care of around 500 fishing vessels in Pak Nam Pran. Most of the vessels belong to Thai people who legally hire crews from Myanmar and Cambodia to work for them. However, the number of working crews is insufficient as each fishing vessel normally has up to 20 crews. In the future, after ASEAN Community is started, the Thai fishing industry will certainly face labor shortage because crews from neighboring countries will go back home. The labor shortage will finally affect the number of fish caught in the Gulf of Thailand. This is a major concern of fishing business owners in Thailand.

Another problem with the Thai fishing industry comes from Thai people themselves. Currently, some fishers are catching baby clam along the shoreline and damaging surface of the shore, thus leaving some small marine habitats no place to breed.

In terms of deep water fishing, some big fishing boats usually catch a lot of anchovy with a big close-knitted seine. The fish is crucial for normal food chain in the sea. So, the more anchovy is caught, the less food for other fish, namely dolphin, will become.

“Now, I’m working with some concerned organizations of Thailand to install artificial coral in Hua Hin and Pak Nam Pran so that small marine animals like squid, threadfin and mackerel have a place to stay and breed. This activity will start in January, 2014,” concluded Mr. Atichart.

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