Fish Lover festival in Thailand highlights the urgent need for conservation for future food security
Much earlier in Thailand, Thai Sea Watch Association (TSWA), Oxfam’s partner, along with other fisherfolks clubs in the network, organised a Fish Lovers Festival called ”Ruam Pon Khon Gin Pla & Khong Dee Tha Sala Meaung Na Yoo” (Tha Sala District’s Fishlover Gatherings & Product Showcase Fair) from 28-30 Sept 2012 at Tha Sala District Office, Nakorn Srithammarat Province in the South of Thailand, in collaboration with Tha Sala District to celebrate Oxfam’s worldwide GROW week.
Destructive trawlers have been threatening livelihood of about 50,000 small-scale fisherfolks in Thailand.
The plight of these fisherfolks and the future of Thai fishery was recently covered in National Geographic Thailand, October 2012 issue and an online petition to ban illegal trawlers is still ongoing.
In Nakorn Srithammarat Province, they have a top-up problem; Chevron’s deep sea port is about to start. The mega-project recently passed the Environmental Impact Assessment, and local people and national academics argue the study’s finding that the sea is seriously depleting.
Tha Sala District of Nakorn Srithammarat has been eyed by Chevron for a deep sea port project. One reason claimed in the EIA report is that “the sea in the area is in a deteriorated stage, thus the construction of the deep sea port will not affect the local ecosystem.” This fair is thus considered as positive advocacy.
In the event, TSWA put up an exhibition booth showcasing photos and stories of fisherfolks. The fisherfolks clubs, including women fisherfolk from the Golden Bay in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, brought their produce, both for sale and to demonstrate how rich and abundant the sea of their hometown is, as well as their conservation and rehabilitaiton activities.
One of the poster reads “The more abundant is the sea, the happier are the people. Protect the food source”. This is hoped to raise awareness on protection of the sea and the area, as the source of food security.