Enviromental groups warn that Thailand and its multi-billion-dollar fishing industry face a losing battle against the impact of overfishing and climate change. Natasha Howitt reports.
Buckets of fish are unloaded onto a pier in Thailand... but they aren't filled with the usual short mackerel haul fishermen here are famous for. Instead, this is Bulu barb, practically the only type of fish left in nearby waters. Environmental groups are warning that Thailand's multi-billion-dollar fishing industry is under threat. Rising seawater temperatures and continuous overfishing are stopping the already-depleted fish stocks from recovering. This captain says fishing nets aren't full, and more trips are needed to reach their target catch. Overfishing is probably the most pressing issue, according to marine biologist Suchana Chavanich, but climate change factors are making things worse. Warmer water is causing coral bleaching, killing off the marine ecosystem needed for fish to survive. Also trying to survive are Thai fishermen, who are now often venturing into deeper waters and illegal fishing zones in search of their paycheck. But doing so risks being barred from exporting to the European Union. In April 2015, Thailand was issued a "yellow card" for failing to crack down on the problem. Thailand is the world's third largest seafood exporter, and over 300,000 people in the country work in the industry.