Fishermen blockade Trang port

Angry fishermen in around 80 longtail boats blocked the entry to a port in Trang province on Monday in protest at the actions of fisheries patrol boats, which have been destroying or removing illegal fishing nets, according to a report in Thai Rath.

  • Published: 28/01/2013 at 03:28 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The government's Department of Fisheries has assigned patrol boats, known as Green Leaf Boats, to stop local fishermen using drift nets - nets which float freely on the surface of the water. These nets are illegal because they frequently entangle non-targeted marine life, often endangered species, not just commercial fish.

The protesting fishermen said the Green Leaf Boats last week removed 300 drift nets in Trang's Kantang district and cost them more than 300,000 baht.

The protesters said their income had fallen as a consequence and urged the patrol boats to stop interfering with their efforts to earn a living.

One of the protesters, Taek Saechua, said fishermen from three other districts in Trang province would join the protest if authorities do not respond promptly.

The report said 100 more boats from Satun, Songkhla, and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces would join the protest blockade soon.

If the blockade continues, freight ships docked in Kantang will miss shipment deadlines worth  several billion baht, the report said.

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