Fisheries are an important source of animal protein for most of Thailand’s population, particularly in provinces on or near the coast. Between 1978 and 1997 the per capita consumption of fish averaged 24 kg·capita-1 annually. In 1995, about 535 210 people were involved in the fisheries sector and 44% of these were engaged in small scale marine capture fisheries. Since 1982, Thailand has faced problems with the development of marine capture fisheries and their over-exploitation which has increased fishery conflicts and disputes with neighboring countries.
Thailand is currently one of the ten largest fishing nations in the world. In 1996, fish production reached 3.7 million t with 90% of the production coming from the marine fisheries sector and 10% from inland fisheries. Thai fishing operates in four fishing grounds namely, the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal. However with the establishment of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1977, Thailand lost over 300 000 km2 of traditional fishing grounds.
The biomass of 40 ecological groups, the diet composition of prey and predators, production/biomass (P/B) and consumption/biomass (Q/B) ratios, and catches were used as basic input to parameterize an Ecopath model of the Gulf of Thailand. Following construction of a mass-balance ecosystem model, a time-dynamic simulation model (Ecosim) was used to simulate the impact of change in fishing effort. This was done using time series data to validate the historic fisheries development in the Gulf of Thailand prior to using the model for forward-looking simulations.
Data from trawl surveys (1961 - 95) and annual production statistics (1971 - 95) were used to examine the status of demersal fishery resources in the Gulf of Thailand. Analyses were focused on biomass trends, population parameters and exploitation rates of dominant species, and assessment of excess capacity from fishing effort and yield estimates. The results indicate by 1995, the trawlable biomass in the Gulf had declined to only about 8.2% of the biomass level in 1961.
A brief account is given of project activities conducted regarding promotion of rice-cum-fish culture in Surin Province,Thailand as a means of increasing protein consumption and also income for rural people. The effect of stocking rate and stocking size on production was investigated. Three fish species were used: Cyprinus carpio, Puntius gonionotus and Oreochromis niloticus . It is believed that further research is warranted regarding rice-fish systems in which wild and cultured species can co-exist.
Length-frequency data on Saurida elongata and S. undosquamis (Synodontidae) from bottom trawl survey conducted in 1984 in the Southern Gulf of Thailand were analyzed using the Compleat ELEFAN software. The seasonal pattern of recruitment suggests two uneven pulses per year, one stronger than the other. Yield-per-recruit analyses suggested that the investigated stocks are presently overexploited. Possible sources of bias for the analyses presented here are discussed.
Aquaculture in Thailand is relatively recent. Formerly, there were ample freshwater fish in natural water bodies such as lakes, rivers and canals, but with decreasing catches due to overfishing, pesticide use, and a reduction in the flood plain fishery associated with the construction of irrigation systems, there has been a surge of interest in aquaculture. In contrast to the relatively well defined and stable Chinese system of integrated fish farming, Thai systems are characterized by instability since aquaculture in the country is experiencing a period of rapid evolution.
The work carried out by some of the brackishwater research stations in Thailand is described. The activities of these stations have 2 outstanding features: 1) the crustacean and finfish species are broadly similar for most areas (shrimp, Penaeus monodon and P. merguiensis , and seabass and grouper being the most important); 2) while it may appear that the programmes of the stations are similar on the species of common importance, this is inevitable inprogrammes oriented towards local extension work.
This review is prepared as part of the FAO Project “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and monitoring in aquaculture”. The review provides a compilation, review and synthesis of existing EIA and environmental monitoring procedures and practices in aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region, the largest aquaculture-producing region in the world. This review, as in other regions, gives special consideration to four areas related to EIA and monitoring in aquaculture including: (1) the requirements (2) the practice (3) the effectiveness and (4) suggestions for improvements.
This report examines the current status of production and participation in large-scale and small scale fisheries in Thailand. It also looks at both the marine and inland capture fisheries of the country and capture fisheries out of Thai waters by Thai fishing boats.