SCOURGE OF THE SEAS - Analysing the impact of bottom trawling
3 February 2023
5 SCOURGE OF THE SEAS | Spatial distribution of trawlers in Thailand Thailand’s trawling fleet is concentrated primarily in the Gulf of Thailand (GOT) with 2,752 trawlers (82% of total trawlers) registered there compared to 618 in the Andaman Sea (AND) (Table 2).25 Five major ports dominate trawler registrations with two of these based across the lower Gulf of Thailand and Samut Songkhram and Samu. [...] It should be noted that the number of trawler vessels rises and falls dramatically during some periods ( especially in 1989) due to fluctuating licence renewals and the introduction and revocation of a tenure system – freezing the total number of fishing licences given out each year.32 8 CPUE (Kg / hr.) Number of trawler vessels SCOURGE OF THE SEAS Linkages between unsustainable fishing and labour. [...] This would be in the interests of preserving Thailand’s fragile fish populations and would be an appro- priate response in the face of mounting evidence from recent years of such declines.55 Lack of access to data is also restrictive and prevents the effective study of current fishing efforts to assess wheth- er fishing practices are truly in line with sustainable levels. [...] The average length of all species identified as Trash/forage fish were smaller than this and almost 100% of the short mackerel,one of the most important economic species in Thai fisheries, caught by the pair trawler were smaller than this crucial reproductive size.64 15 SCOURGE OF THE SEAS Otter board 1 Otter board 2 Pair trawl Food fish % of total catch % of food fish % of total catch % of food f. [...] The 2013 SEAFDEC study found that 44% of pair trawler catches were made up of pelagic species with over half of this amount made up of juveniles.74 In addition, out of almost 330,000 tonnes of Trash/forage fish landed across Thailand in 2019 by all 21 commercial fishing gears, pair trawlers contributed 55% of the amount.75 These factors lead to pair trawling being one of the most destructive and l.