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The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has issued an announcement to prohibit all fishing activities in the Gulf of Thailand between February 15 and May 15, to rehabilitate the marine resources.
Assistant to the Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Patthamaphong Prathom issued the ministry’s announcement to cease all fishing activities the central area of the Gulf of Thailand for three months. Areas included in the announcement will cover the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Surat Thani.
Department of Fisheries Director General Adisorn Phromthep reported that 2 orders have been issued to intensify the Ministry of Agriculture’s shutdown of the Gulf of Thailand. Under the orders, the netting of fish is prohibited in the Gulf of Thailand off Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumporn and Surat Thani for three months. There will also be a 45 day grace period during which the ban will stay in place once the order is lifted. Fishing is prohibited for up to 7 nautical miles from the shore.
The department is now considering special credit lines for affected fishermen, but has asked for time to study their effects on mackerel after the fish breed’s populations dropped to a critical level.
The announcement was issued following a meeting between the department, relevant agencies and fishermen to remedy the problem of dwindling mackerel populations in the Gulf of Thailand. The meeting saw the need for the Ministry of Agriculture to issue a mandate to help protect marine resources during the mackerel breeding season.