Thailand is ranked as one of the world’s top seafood producers and exporters. Under the Sustainable Markets Project, the Market Transformation Initiative (MTI) Thailand has started to work on seafood sector, both wild-caught and farmed, to increase sustainability and traceability at the producers’ end of supply chain. As for the wild-caught seafood, WWF-Thailand focuses on blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus
) and trash fish and juvenile economic fish (used as raw materials for fishmeal). We initiated Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) by involving various stakeholders, including fishers and processors, governmental units (mainly Department of Fisheries), academia, and other local NGOs.
Name of the Project:
The Andaman Trawl Fishery Improvement Project (FIP)
WWF-Thailand and the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR) aim to achieve the expected outcomes as listed below:
- Better understandings of an internationally accepted fisheries standard (MSC) for Thai stakeholders
- A beginning of a demersal trawl pilot project, which is aimed to be adapted for other sites in Thailand and related areas
- Participation of all stakeholders in trawl fishery management (including commercial fishers, artisanal fishers, related trawl fishery beneficiaries, governmental sectors, researchers and NGOs)
- Understanding of marine and coastal resource dependents both directly and indirectly
- Minimised impacts on trawl targeted species and related ecosystems (primary and secondary species, habitats, and ETP species)
- Improvement of trawl fishery in Southern Andaman Area of Thailand
- Guideline for Thai stakeholders to approach MSC or equivalent standard
WWF-Thailand and the Thai Sustainable Fisheries Roundtable (TSFR) are working together towards sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management and production through policy reform with the long-term objective of achieving MSC or ASC certification (or equivalent) for the seafood supply chain. To achieve the objective, both organisations agree to ensure all fishmeal products are sourced from fisheries that adhere to the relevant fishery standard (MSC) in capture fisheries, and related processing and distribution industries. The parties also commit to ensure all fishmeal products come from traceable and environmentally and socially responsible sources, whereas supply chain transparency and awareness amongst customers, employees and other key stakeholders are to be improved and promoted.
In this light, WWF Thailand and the Roundtable are developing the Andaman Trawl Fishery Improvement Project for feed sources associated with wild-caught forage fish. The project is envisaged to be a pilot project for other sites in Thailand and related areas. Five provinces along the Andaman Coast of Thailand, namely (Southern) Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satul, are selected as the project’s targeted site based on the less intricate stakeholders and fishery boundary.
The project is divided into 4 stages:
Stage 1 – Scoping
: This stage involves stakeholder mapping and engagement through ‘focused group survey’, stock assessment of fishery area, socio-economics study through ‘baseline survey’, MSC pre-assessment and delivery of scoping document.
Stage 2 – Action Plan Development
: During the second stage, the stakeholders work together to prepare and complete an FIP Action Plan, combining the information and the results derived from the studies conducted in Stage 1, with stakeholder input and consensus.
Stage 3 – Implementation
: Within a set timeframe, the stakeholders implement the FIP Action Plan according to their roles and responsibilities assigned in Stage 2, while progress of the works can be tracked and project updates are accessible to the public.
Stage 4 – Review
: The stakeholders assess the annual progress of the fishery together, and revise and adapt the FIP Action Plan if necessary.