Fishermen warn of mass protest if sea fishing banned off Nakhon Si Thammarat province

Local fishermen in Thailand’s southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat warned today of mass protests against the provincial governor if he fails to come to their rescue and allow them to fish legally in the seas off the provincial coast, after they were harassed by fishery officials.

About 500 local fishermen met today, at a school in Tambon Pak Nakhon, to air their grievances to Palang Pracharat MP for the province, Dr. Rong Boonsuaykwan and Mr. Preecha Kaewkrachang, the provincial director of the party.

The fishermen complained that they are being harassed on daily basis by fishery officials who accuse them of using illegal fishing gear.

However, they allege that fishery officials are colluding with a businessman who was granted a concession to farm cockles in the sea, which is in their fishing grounds.

The fishermen outlined their three demands to Dr. Rong so they will be raised with the provincial governor for consideration. The demands include allowing fishermen to resume fishing as normal, revocation of the cockle farming concession and amendment of the fishery law to separate clearly the fishing industry into commercial and small-scale fishing.

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