Thai seas are in a serious crisis, a funeral for baby mackerel will be held to alert people about the disaster.
“We also plan to stage a mackerel funeral in Bangkok soon to pressure the government to stop light fishing,” said Banjong Nasae.
Banjong Nasae, the environmentalist, marine conservationist, activist, and advisor of the Rak Talay Thai Foundation will hold a funeral ceremony for the baby mackerel and other small aquatic animals that have been caught until the Thai sea is in a serious crisis. To demand the government's responsibility and to show the root of this catastrophe.
One of the main reasons for the capture of small marine life is the light fishing vessel. The fishing boats that use lights to attract their catch represent an ephemeral source of light at night in some of the seas.
“The light fishing vessels are another sea murderer. People are complaining: ‘Why has our Pla Tu disappeared from the sea?’ The light fishing is why.” said Banjong Nasae.
The negative effects of light fishing vessels include ecological cost, overfishing, production of plastic, and greenhouse gas emission. Which leads to global warming and climate change.
Light fishing vessels are not the only ones causing problems on the sea. But trawlers are another big problem as well. Trawling is a method of fishing that involves actively dragging or pulling a trawl through the water behind one or more trawlers. Trawls are fishing nets that are pulled along the bottom of the sea or in midwater at a specified depth.
“The sea in front of our village used to be plentiful. But the sea became empty because of the bottom trawlers,” said U-sing Ji-Uma, the traditional fisherman at Ban Pak Bang Thepa District, Songkhla.
Trawlers created overfishing and destructive fishing. The fishing nets drew 30 percent of market fish and 70 percent of trash fish. The trash fish, which includes baby fish that will make so much more money when they grow up.
“The trawlers scooped up over 500,000 tons of baby fish and other marine life to produce a fish meal for the animal feed industry,” said Banjong Nasae.
Bottom trawlers not only capture small marine creatures as trash fish, but they also destroy the seafloor. “Bottom trawlers also destroy the corals, the seabed, and the marine ecosystem. They are maritime criminals,” said Banjong Nasae.
The sea is the world's largest source of oxygen. The destruction occurs when the sea is ruined by destructive fishing. As the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere decreases, global warming and rising water temperatures result. Until causing the problem of coral bleaching and the destruction of marine life. It's a never-ending issue.
The Europeans threatened to ban Thai seafood in 2015 due to the damage they made in international waters. Early in 2021, the threat of a ban was withdrawn. However, the new laws and regulations are not being strictly enforced, requiring the fisherfolks network to put pressure on the government to abolish bottom trawling and other destructive fishing techniques, as promised to the European Union.
The way to stop the trawlers and the light fishing vessel is to gain support from the government.
“The government must enforce the law banning trawlers within 3km off the shore. We also want the government to extend the ban to 12 km to better protect the coastal sea,” said Banjong Nasae.
The movement was not just for traditional fishermen, but the general public as well. To be able to eat good and affordable fish. This includes maintaining the sea and marine creatures that are important to Thailand's economy. And the prevention of global warming problems from illegal fishing practices.
“We are now doing many things to restore the sea. We are not giving up hope for change,” said Banjong Nasae.