Local Fishermen Block Pak Bara Canal
In Satun, Thailand, local fishermen have staged a protest by blocking the entry to the Pak Bara canal in Langu district with their boats. This demonstration was initiated in response to the confiscation of three fishing boats and the detention of 12 crew members on Sunday.
The protest began on Monday and continued into Tuesday, attracting the attention of the Region 3 Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre.
Seizure of Fishing Boats and Detention of Crew
On Sunday, officials involved in the prevention and suppression of illegal fishing seized three fishing boats and arrested 12 crew members. The crew were accused of using electric winches with falling nets to catch anchovy near Le La island in tambon Ko Sarai of Muang district.
Falling nets, a popular traditional fishing gear, are typically used by small-boat fishermen working along the coast and river banks.
Fishermen’s Reaction to Seizures
Local fishermen, angered by the seizures, began to block the Pak Bara water channel with their fishing boats on Monday. They argued that the laws on fisheries and national parks have deprived them of areas for fishing.
Initially, 14 boats took part in the blockade, with more joining over time.
Potential Impact on Tourism and Commercial Boats
Authorities have expressed concern that the protesting fishermen might also block the channel to speedboats transporting tourists to Koh Lipe, as well as commercial boats arriving and departing the Pak Bara boat pier. As of now, the standoff continues.