Sustainable management strategy of aquatic animal resources in Bandon Bay, the large watershed area in Southern Thailand

Sustainable management strategy of aquatic animal resources in Bandon Bay, the large watershed area in Southern Thailand

Walailak University led by Asst. Prof. Dr. Amonsak Sawusdee, in collaboration with the Network partner: Department of Fisheries, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thai Frozen Foods Association, and local community partners who live in Bandon Bay to progress a research project on the management of blue crab resources and related ecosystems in Bandon bay. The research team has been collecting ecosystem data, fisheries resources, oceanography, and area utilization of Bandon Bay to comprise a strategic plan for the sustainability resources in Bandon Bay.


Ban Don Bay is one of the most important watershed area in the Gulf of Thailand and an important area where blue crab is the popular seafood consumed in the country, including export to income for our country. Over the past statistical data, it was found that the predominant aquatic animal, such as blue crabs in nature, has decreased dramatically. As a result, it appeared that fishermen’s income from fishing has decreased. Due to the vulnerability of essential fishery areas, academics, and network partners, Walailak University has used academic and research data for planning to management of Ban don Bay. The area has established fishery refugia to ensure that aquatic animals, especially embryos, have shelters to grow metamorphosis in the future. It will result in the fishermen having more fish to catch and more income.


From the ongoing research projects and outreach activities in Ban Don Bay in 2020-2021 (2563-2564 B.E.), the research team, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and local fishermen, has developed a management strategy for both the environment and fisheries of Ban Don Bay as follows:

  1. Promoting and raising awareness among local fishermen to catch blue crabs larger than 10 cm in size and bring berried female blue crabs to the local blue crab bank to increase the natural supply of blue crabs
  2. Promoting blue crab banking in suitable areas: Tha Chana District, Chaiya District, Don Sak District, and Kanchanadit District and letting large amounts of blue crabs be released during the primary reproductive phase, which has the right environment and amount of food for the larvae in the bay; that is the reason why those areas are the essential fishing ground
  3. Continuing research to track or establish a database of lost fishing gear to reduce the impact of ghost fishing
  4. Stimulating fishermen in the area not to fish near shore and announcing the area as a nursery for young aquatic animals, especially the area suitable for crab embryo habitat (Tha Chana, Donsak)
  5. Organizing ecological cleaning activities, especially in sensitive areas, for collecting lost fishing gear from the Bandon Bay ecosystem.
  6. Encouraging fishermen to use legal poaching, 2.5-inch nets, which will reduce the impact of discarded tools at sea on aquatic life to some extent.
  7. Establishing an obvious measure to increase the spawning potential ratio (SPR) for determining the minimum landing size based on community participation and the campaign for fishermen to release the small blue crabs caught or berried female blue crabs back to the sea
  8. Requesting cooperation or regulating activities on shore that does not cause additional heavy metal accumulation
  9. Monitoring of blue crabs to know resource conditions and appropriate management practices regularly

Figure 1: Bandon Bay

  Figure 2: Physical environmental survey

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals