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The TSFR Working group Organized a Workshop to Review and Plan for ETP species Recording and Trawl interactions

On Wednesday, June 19th, 2024, from 10:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., the TSFR working group organized a workshop to review and plan for ETP species recording and trawl interactions. The Department of Fisheries and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources participated, providing knowledge and guidance to trawl fishers at the Maeklong Fisheries Cooperative and via the Vroom meeting system.

The objective of this workshop was to gather feedback and best practices from fishers. This activity is part of the project aimed at developing sustainable trawl fishing practices in the Gulf of Thailand, according to international standards, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries about 40 fishers and stakeholders attended the meeting.

A presentation by a representative from the Fisheries Inspection, Aquatic Animal Products, and Production Factors Division introduced guidelines and procedures for fishers when encountering rare marine animals during fishing. It was suggested that fishers should report sightings of rare marine animals to local authorities for inspection and record them in a logbook. However, fishers expressed no objections to reporting and recording sightings but mentioned that in some cases, fishers who found carcasses of rare marine animals and brought them on board were prosecuted by the Department of Fisheries. This has discouraged fishers from reporting rare marine animals.

The Department of Fisheries added that regulations were announced in 2020 to protect fishers who assist in the rescue of protected and controlled wild animals that are abandoned, injured, sick, or weak. However, fishers stated that they were unaware of these regulations and requested that the Department of Fisheries inform fishers and relevant agencies about them. Fisheries officials agreed to discuss this issue at the policy level.

A representative from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) explained the types of rare marine animals and how to assist in their rescue.

The TSFR working group announced that after this meeting, they would incorporate the feedback into the guidelines for rescuing rare marine animals in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and DMCR. They also plan to design a method for recording sightings of rare marine animals and pilot it with five trawl fishing vessels participating in the project before presenting the results to evaluators at the end of 2024.

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