Friday, January 11, 2008

Review on catfish ban

Review on catfish ban

The border ban on catching the rare giant catfish along the stretch of the Mekong River in Chiang Khong district is likely to be reviewed this year since a band of local fishermen has recently demanded the resumption of the traditional catch.

Published on January 6, 2008

"There are 12 out of a total of 68 giant-catfish fishermen who want to continue fishing this season beginning in April," Phisit Wanatham, chairman of the Chiang Khong Giant Catfish Group, said yesterday.

The ban was imposed last year by local Thai-Lao authorities in Chiang Khong and Huay Sai towns after international environmental group WWF led a movement to stop harvesting the endangered species in order to prevent its extinction.

Most Thai and Lao fishermen have agreed to end their decades-long pursuit, but some Thai fishermen continued laying nets, prompting Laotian authorities to send a protest letter to Chiang Khong authorities about the infraction.

"The 12 fishermen claimed the ban had been decided on by only some groups of local fishermen, not including themselves, and they insist on pursuing their traditional livelihood," Phisit said.

Chinaphat Chaimol

The Nation

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