The current law states local fishermen are not permitted to operate beyond a 1.5 nautical mile radius from Phuket’s shoreline, something members of the local fishing industry claim needs to be revised.
The group, led by Phuket Fishery Association head Somsak Promkaew, gathered at Queen Sirikit Park in Phuket Town around 1pm yesterday (July 7) to air their grievances and present their formal request to Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong.
Several of the group also had placards and signs containing slogans such as “Phuket fishermen do not have sufficient area to work in”, “Be kind to us”, and “We want our 3 nautical miles back”.
“As a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis, an increasing number of people have turned to fishing in order to generate an income,” Mr Somsak commented.
“Before the pandemic there were around only 1,200 boats registered with the Phuket office of the Fishery Department – that figure has grown considerably in the last 12 months.
“That is why we are asking authorities to seriously consider our request to increase the catchment area to three nautical miles in order to reduce the congestion.
“We always adhere to the standards of sustainable fishing with a focus on protecting and maintaining natural resources. We do not operate in an irresponsible way and always follow the law by fishing away from the coral reef where tourists go diving,” he added.
V/Gov Pichet told the fisherman that he will discuss this request with relevant officers and inform them of the outcome accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) have issued a COVID-19 alert for vendors and local residents present at the fish auction site at Sinpaiboonchai fishing pier in Rassada over a three-day period late last month.
“Those who went to the pier from June 26-29, between 9 and 10am are considered high-risk people,” the alert said.
“Please isolate and monitor yourselves and go to get tested for COVID-19 at a hospital near your home or the PPHO office.
“For more information, please call 094-3157700,” the alert concluded.