Marine Fisheries Management Plan of Thailand 2020-2022 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The new Royal Ordinance on Fisheries B.E. 2558 (2015) and its revision in B.E. 2560 (2017) recognize the significance of sustainable management of the fisheries resources of Thailand and stipulates that the Thailand Department of Fisheries (DOF) develop and implement a National Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). This National Marine Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) (2020-2022) is prepared under the Policy for the development of fisheries in Thai waters and the Policy for the promotion, development and resolution of problems pertaining to fisheries outside of Thai waters. The FMP (2020-2022) is also built on the success of FMP (2015-2019) and takes into consideration the assessment of progress against the FMP (2015- 2019) goals and objectives, changes in the status and nature of the fishery and newer approaches to management. Many of the management measures specified in the FMP (2015-2019) have already been implemented. Excellent progress has made against the urgent issues of (i) overfishing and overcapacity, and (ii) Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. For the other issues, good progress has been made against all objectives. This progress is the direct result of a number of fisheries reforms that have been implemented since 2015 that included the conversion from an open-access to a limited-access fishery, tighter controls on IUU fishing including ratification and implementation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), implementation and enforcement of technical measures and more stringent requirements for overseas vessels, including ratification and implementation of the United Nations Fish Stock Agreement (UNFSA). Marine fisheries are important both socially and economically for Thailand. In order to maintain the sustainable development of the sector, a number of challenges still need to be addressed. These include rebuilding and maintaining the fish resources at a level commensurate with the MSY, reducing the large quantities of small low value/trash fish, including juveniles of larger commercial species that are taken, further reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), improving the status of critical marine habitats (mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs), improving the well-being of artisanal fishers and strengthening the capacity for effective fisheries management. Based on these challenges, the goals of the FMP (2020-2022) are: 1. Fisheries resources restored to a level that can support the MSY in Thai waters and sustainable fishing expanded into deep-sea and overseas waters; 2. IUU-free fishery; 3. Healthy habitats and environment; 4. Improved livelihoods of artisanal fishers and fishing communities; and 5. Effective fisheries management capacity. Important management measures specified in the FMP (2020-2022) include the control of fishing effort through a total allowable effort (TAE) and licensing scheme and the use of incentives such as a buy-backs and license combination schemes to remove excess capacity for fishing vessel, the introduction of area-based management for selected fisheries, including clams and shrimp and introducing Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) for selected fisheries. Restrictions on the number and characteristics of fishing gear will be maintained. The expansion of sustainable fishing into deeper waters in Thailand and into overseas fishing grounds will be promoted. To reduce the catch of juvenile market fish, mesh size limits will be maintained or increased and seasonal closures improved. Artificial reefs and restocking programs will be maintained. The FMP is designed to reduce the level of IUU fishing to a level that can be controlled through regular MCS arrangements in the future. Specific management measures to achieve this include a review of the National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU fishing (NPOA-IUU) and the further strengthening of Thailand’s coastal State, flag State and port State responsibilities. The traceability systems already in place will also be improved and international and regional MCS networking adopted. The DOF will collaborate with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) to improve the status of critical habitats and rebuild biodiversity as well as to reduce marine debris which affects ecosystems and sustainability of fisheries resources. A new important initiative of the FMP 2020-2024 will be the application of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (FAO SSF Guidelines) to further improve the well-being of artisanal fishers and fishing communities. The FMP also recognizes the importance of better data and information to inform management decision making and proposes several important changes on research, data and information that can be used in the future management of Thailand’s marine fisheries. Lastly the FMP recognizes the need for institutional changes and strengthening the human capacity to improve future fisheries management. The details of all management measures needed to meet the FMP’s objectives, as well as key performance indicators, timelines, and responsible agencies, are included in the plan. The implementation of the FMP also requires the provision of the adequate financial, technical and human resources. The Thai Government has a policy to allocate budget of 2,970 billion baht over the three years period of the FMP. The FMP will be reviewed every second year with a report on progress against the objectives, and if appropriate, the challenges, goals and objectives and management measures will be modified. DOWNLOAD FULL VERSION
NPOA-Sharks Sharks are not economic species and are not the primary target species for fishing; therefore, no fishing gear in Thailand is used to catch sharks; on the contrary, sharks play an important role in maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem. Recognizing this fact, the Department of Fisheries has created and implemented the National Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sharks, Thailand: NPOA-Sharks under the framework of the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, Thailand: IPOA-Sharks, with a five-year action plan (2020-2024) that includes the following objectives: Objective 1: Conduct research and create a database on biology, ecosystems, fisheries, and shark exploitation in Thai waters. Objective 2: Assess the status and threats posed by fishing operations, including the environment’s effect on sharks, in a systematic and consistent manner. Objective 3: Develop knowledge and skills in shark-related management for those who are concerned, Objective 4: Develop fisheries and shark trade control and conservation measures in accordance with international regulations, requirements, and obligations, Objective 5: Develop and establish a network of stakeholders involved in shark resource management and conservation. This will be the guideline for managing resources and conserving sharks with participation from all sectors involved, as well as seeking public sector cooperation by publicizing and raising public awareness of the significance of shark conservation.
Thai Fishery Products’ potential in Saudi Arabia’s market According to halal market research, the global halal food and beverage market was valued at 1,533,280 million USD (48 trillion baht) in 2020 and is expected to grow to 2,285,190 million USD (approximately 74 trillion baht) in 2026 with a 20% yearly growth rate, and value addition of 560 billion USD (16.8 trillion baht) per year. This will boost exports and provide new opportunities for Thai farmers and entrepreneurs. Thailand ranks 13 in the world for its potential to produce and export food. According to the Thailand Halal Blueprint, the Thai Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, has developed a plan to enter the 2 billion-people Muslim market as well as to invest in the agro-industry and halal food from upstream to downstream in both Thailand and other countries. Despite having a population of only 35 million people, Saudi Arabia is an important Islamic religious ceremony center and economic hub for the Middle East and North Africa, making it a considerable market for halal food products. While Thailand is the world's 11th largest halal food exporter, with a 2.44% market share, fishery products and processed seafood are among the top halal foods exported by Thailand. As a result, the restoration of the Thai-Saudi government relationship after 32 years will increase collaboration and boost development, especially in economics, technology, and innovation. International importers have recognized Thailand as a high-quality halal food producer. In Thailand, there are around 1.4 hundred thousand Halal food entrepreneurs, with 95% or 1.33 hundred thousand of them being non-Muslim. This reflects the availability of Halal food markets for all prospective food entrepreneurs. Halal food is defined as " food that is permissible according to Islamic law". Halal food is crucial for all Muslims and is typically divided into two groups: 1) Natural Halal: agricultural products or non-processed food and 2) Halal by Certification: agricultural products or processed food (including slaughter through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe) that are at risk of being contaminated by non-halal ingredients or processed in ways that violate Islamic law, fishery products, and processed seafood are included in these two groups. Halal food from Thailand exports to the potential halal market in the Middle East and Northern Africa includes canned and processed seafood which accounted for 43.6% of overall halal food exported in 2019. The Thai Delegation, led by Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the representatives from the government and private sector, paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 15-19 May 2022, to mobilize and promote bilateral cooperation between Thailand and Saudi Arabia. This visit also demonstrated both sides' intention to strengthen their cooperation from the public to the private sectors. In addition, the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Board of Trade of Thailand and the Federation of Saudi Chambers was arranged. The cooperation identified in the MoU encompasses the following areas: 1. Establishing Thai-Saudi Business Forum between both sides’ entrepreneurs, 2. Encourage participation in the exposition and trade fairs conducted by each other in order to promote trade and collaboration. It also raises awareness of the products of both countries. The Chamber of Commerce of Thailand has invited the private sector of Saudi Arabia to participate in the ThaiFex, which was held from 24-28 May 2022 in Bangkok, 3. Sharing related regulations and other information to encourage investment consideration in order to enhance the future growth of both sides' private investment, 4. Providing investment facilitation to help Thailand and Saudi Arabia in becoming the top investment targets for both countries’ entrepreneurs, 5. Accelerating the development of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Thailand and Saudi Arabia in order to encourage long-term trade between the two countries and to begin discussions on the FTA agreement as soon as possible. The Thai side provided information on agricultural and fishery products that are produced with quality and in accordance with halal standards, with a variety based on global demand. Thai producers of agricultural and fishery products have the potential and readiness to expand their export market to Saudi Arabia. The two sides agreed to expand agricultural cooperation on crops, fisheries, livestock, and irrigation, as well as the development of food and halal standards, joint investments in agro-industry and halal industrial zone within the framework of the Halal Economic Corridor, including investments in new agricultural technology innovations through the establishment of a working mechanism between the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia. This shows the rehabilitation of the Thai-Saudi relationship has improved successively according to the government's policy of promoting the export of halal food under the Thailand Halal Blueprint. Entrepreneurs, producers, and exporters of fishery products have great potential, which translates into an opportunity for Thailand to increase its exports of halal fish and fishery products to Saudi Arabia in the near future. Mrs. Chuanpid Chantarawarathit Expert in Fisheries International Affairs