Climate change ‘threatens Thai fight against illegal fishing’


Samut Sakhon, Thailand—Climate change threatens to undermine Thailand’s efforts to combat illegal fishing and avoid a potential European Union ban on exports by the multi-billion dollar seafood industry, environmental groups say.
They warn that climate change is slowing the recovery of fish stocks in traditional fishing grounds, prompting boats to venture outside Thai waters in search of fish.
“Overfishing plays a major role in the decimation of the fish stock in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, but climate change is just as big a threat,” said Suchana Chavanich, a marine biologist at Chulalongkorn University.
“Warmer oceans mean that fish don’t grow to their full length. Coral bleaching caused by climate change means fish nurseries and their food sources are also under threat,” Suchana said.
Thailand’s fish stocks peaked in 2006 at 856,212 tonnes of fish caught in the Gulf of Thailand, according to One Shared Ocean, a group that monitors marine issues.
Four years later it was down to 617,568 tonnes, the last year for which the group has data.—Reuters