Scourge Of The Seas

July 1, 2023

In Thailand, bottom trawling threatens livelihoods, food security and ocean ecosystems. One particularly destructive form of bottom trawling, known as pair trawling, is responsible for catching vast amounts of juvenile fish and seafood which would otherwise have reached maturity as valuable species. A significant proportion of what is caught is ‘trash fish’: a mixture of heavily degraded marine life, which is near-worthless and unsuitable for human consumption.

This Environmental Justice Foundation report, produced with support from the TBT Coalition, calls on the Royal Thai Government to drop new legislation promising to deregulate the industry. Instead, they should expand the country’s bottom trawling exclusion zone from three to at least five nautical miles.

Steve Trent, EJF CEO and Co-Founder, said: “Thailand’s fish populations are being devastated by a small, unregulated portion of its commercial fleet. Pair trawlers catching vast quantities of juvenile fish threaten to cause an inescapable downward spiral, undermining future healthy fisheries for trash fish today. The Royal Thai Government and Department of Fisheries must take targeted action against the worst offenders now, so they can end this decline, deliver sustainable fisheries and with them better livelihoods and food security for the Thai nation. Instead, they are preparing to entirely deregulate the industry and, in doing so, are jeopardising the rights of those working in the industry and any hope of a long-term sustainable future for fisheries in Thailand.”


Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF)

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