THAI FISCHERMEN

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Fishermen of coastal communities in last-ditch bid to save the rich marine life.

 

With over 3,200 kilometers of coastline, Thailand is one of the top fish producing nations in the world and is the world’s leading exporter of shrimp.

The area surrounding Krabi is considered the fishery capital of the Andaman Sea due to its abundance of aquatic life. Fishing is the main economic activity in this area and fishermen depend heavily on the resources from the sea.

Locals reveal that the products they gather from the surrounding sea provide them up to Bt30,000 (Thai Baht) worth of seafood on better days.

These unlimited resources come from the healthy ecosystem of this area, rich with a mangrove forest and a coral reef, which provide ideal habitat and a wonderful spawning area for aquatic animals.

People only have small fishing boats and all of their equipment is traditional. Women are experts in scooping for small fish in shallow water using home-made bamboo fishing rods.

Recently, in a quest to protect their livelihoods and the environment, traditional fishermen of the villages in Krabi have been engaged in a long-running battle to stop the construction of the Krabi coal-fired power plant and its coal-transporting pier.

They are worried about the coal-transporting barges which could cause severe impacts on marine ecology because of the turbidity generated by the barges.

The local fishermen have in fact noticed that there is significantly less fish in the days after the oil-transporting barges pass and are all worried about the environment and ecosystem of their area as they are depending heavily on fish which, historically, is a significant provider of protein to the Thai population.