Ban on fishing in Andaman Sea begins April 1
It’s that time of year again when the oceans need a break from humans in order to recover and regrow. Along the Andaman sea, fishing restrictions will be implemented for a three-month period from April 1 to June 30. The restrictions will cover the coastline of four provinces on the Andaman in an effort to allow fish stocks to recover.
The Department of Fisheries announced on Sunday that an area of 4,696 square kilometres will be affected, stretching from Laem Yong Star in Trang province to Cape Panwa in Phuket province. The waters off of Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Trang will be restricted to commercial fishing operations.
Despite the ban, fishing activities are not completely prohibited. Local villagers with boats less than 10 gross tonnage and engines less than 280 horsepower are allowed to fish still. The Andaman Sea is a major fishing ground for commercial fishing activities, and the restrictions will help preserve the sea’s biodiversity and ensure the sustainability of the industry for the long term.
By restricting fishing now, more fish can breed and spawn, which means healthier future hauls for long-term sustainability. In June, the Andaman spawning season will reach its peak, with an average density of 1,197 fish spawn per 1,000 cubic metres of water.
The Department of Fisheries stated that previous years have shown the success of the restrictions. Annual catches in the Andaman Sea have been consistently increasing since 2017.
The department will be sending out boats to oversee the restricted areas throughout the three-month closure. Any vessels larger than the local fishing boats allowed that are found to be fishing during the ban will be subject to a fine of either 50,000 baht or five times the value of the fish that has been caught, whichever amount is higher.
On a separate note, the fisheries department also issued an alert about the use of illegal labourers. They warned that any fishing operators found using illegal labour will be fined up to 2 million baht and could face two years of imprisonment or both.
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