Asian Fisheries Society

Ecological Impacts of Fishing Gears in Thailand: Knowledge and Gaps


Around the world, knowledge about ecological impacts of fishing, especially in the small-scale sector, is generally poor, impeding thus the implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). The same condition exists in Thailand where fisheries sustainability is a major concern. As a first step towards EAF, we conducted a comprehensive literature review to assess current knowledge and gaps about ecological impacts of common fishing gears used in Thailand. Of the 134 documents found on the topic, about 70 % were technical reports produced by the Department of Fisheries of Thailand, focusing largely on trawl fisheries, particularly otter board trawls. Impacts from trawling are mostly reported in terms of amount of trash fish and undersized/juvenile economic fish. Impacts of fishing gears on marine mammals (such as dolphins and dugongs) and sea turtles are reported, but only qualitatively. Very little is known about discards. Information about habitat damage is generally limited although a few studies qualitatively describe impacts of seine nets, trawls, dredges, and push nets on seagrass beds, coral reefs and benthic community. Our study reveals that a major gap exists in the understanding of ecological impacts of fishing gears in Thailand, particularly in relation to discards and habitat damage, which needs to be addressed in order to implement EAF.

Publication Date : 2017-12-31

Volume : 30

Issue : 4

Page : 284-305

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Date 2017/12/31
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