Yearly rotational fishing ban begins in Gulf of ThailandLegacy

The Department of Fisheries initiated its yearly cycle of rotational fishing ban in the Gulf of Thailand, extending until September. The restriction starts at the Khao Mong Lai coast in Prachuab Khiri Khan, extending to the Don Sak district in Surat Thani, effective from today until May 15.

Following this, the prohibition will shift to the stretch between Khao Ta Mong Lai and Hua Hin in Prachuab Khiri Khan province from May 16 to June 14. The fishing ban will then encompass the western sea areas of Prachuab Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Samut Songkhram, and Samut Sakhon provinces between June 15 and August 15.

The final phase of the ban will span from August 1 to September 30, sealing off the upper parts of the Gulf, which include Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, and Chon Buri provinces, reported Bangkok Post.

Bancha Sukkaew, the Department of Fisheries’ chief, has affirmed that these closures are vital for rejuvenating marine life, ultimately benefiting the health and sustainability of the fishing industry.

A survey conducted by the department last year revealed that the mackerel catches along the Gulf amounted to 41,310 tonnes. The value of this catch stood at a substantial 3.3 billion baht, showing an increase of 5,602 tonnes or 16% from the previous year, 2022.

Moreover, the survey indicated that a significant proportion of the catch comprised mature fish, validating the effectiveness of the Gulf closure in preserving and boosting marine life in the area.

In related news, fishing restrictions will be implemented along the Andaman Sea for three months from April 1 to June 30. The restrictions will cover the coastline of four provinces on the Andaman to allow fish stocks to recover.

The Department of Fisheries announced that an area of 4,696 square kilometres would 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.

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Author: Mitch Connor