WU Fishery Researcher, as a National Expert Committee, Joins the Drafting of the Thai Fisheries Development Plan according to SDG 14 Guidelines
Assist. Prof. Dr. Amonsak Sawusdee, a lecturer in the School of Science at Walailak University, has been appointed by the Department of Fisheries to be the National Scientific and Technical Committee for advising fisheries plans in Thailand, including preventing overfishing and minimizing the impact of fisheries on the aquatic ecosystems: physical, chemical, and biological alterations. He has been appointed to three national academic committees, namely Thailand’s National Scientific and Technical Committee, Technical Committee on the Assessment for Sustainability and Appropriate Reference Point Determination in Marine Animals Management, and the Committee on Sustainable Blue Crab Management of Thailand. He has also established cooperation with NGOs, including the Federation of Thai fisher folk and the Thai sea watch association. Besides, the university’s researchers are responsible for drafting the country’s fisheries strategy and preparing a plan to manage the blue crab resources of the area for sustainable use of marine resources and ecosystems according to SDG 14 by identifying the problem of the irresponsible use of fishery resources and developing a strategy, as well as formulating Thailand sustainable fisheries development plan.
As part of the sustainable resource management plan considered biological aspects, Walailak University by research and development project to restore resources and upgrade the blue crab fishery to international standards (Fishery improvement program: FIP) in Ban Don Bay area, Surat Thani in 2021, has developed strategy to reduce the effect of overfishing by defining management issues as follows:
- 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
- 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
- Continuing research to track or establish a database of lost fishing gear to reduce the impact of ghost fishing
- 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)
- Organizing ecological cleaning activities, especially in sensitive areas, for collecting lost fishing gear from the Bandon Bay ecosystem.
- 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.
- 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
- Requesting cooperation or regulating activities on shore that does not cause additional heavy metal accumulation
- Monitoring of blue crabs to know resource conditions and appropriate management practices regularly
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Goal 14: Life Below Water