Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

-International campaign against Thailand’s seafood industry sizzles as -

Flying Sporran's Weekend Diary

Thailand’s fishing industry, particularly in the area of prawn cultivation took another massive knock today with an article on Mail Online, which boasts 105 million unique visitors a month, taking a massive swipe.

A  reported retort in the Bangkok Post last month by Niwat Sutemechaikul, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives, that the CP conglomerate, Thailand’s major prawn producer, was acting within the law, seems now hollow and almost irrelevant.

And now the silence is deafening, which may not be such a bad thing, because in defence Thai authorities often go on the attack leaving themselves in even worse situations.

Thailand’s prawn industry has been the subject of investigations by many newspapers worldwide, and was even visited by a whole class from the British Columbia School of Journalism, who along with others produced their own ‘Prawn Movie’.

TV chefs have been out there telling viewers why they should not buy Thai prawns and giving very convincing reasons.

I am not a great warm water prawn fan, having been used to Dublin Bay prawns in cooler climes, so their views are easily sold to me.

Today’s piece in the Mail on Sunday was written by an investigator who appears to have thrown himself in the water in front of ‘bottom dredging’ trawlers to find out the truth.  You can read the story here.

Apart from accusations of destroying the ecology of the sea there are also the widespread accusations of the murder of Burmese fishermen, some of whom appear to have been press ganged in the first place.


It’s a story I have been looking to do for some time but could not work out how to get on the trawlers to film something which could have a detrimental affect to the fishermen's livelihoods. But I never came up with the idea of throwing myself into the Gulf of Thailand. Hats off to the man who did Jim Wickens, environmental journalist extraordinaire.

PS: That's not really Jim in the water in the picture.

Sizzling Prawns: In 70's Britain the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals prosecuted a young Scottish woman who was employed to decapitate prawns after she put them on a hot plate and watched them sizzle to death.


  1. Thank you for highlighting this issue and posting the 'grinding nemo' video.

    Why is it that the Department of Fisheries TH can find the time and resources to send armed 'green leaf' patrols to destroy small scale drift nets belonging to 'village' fishermen under the pretence of 'environmental protection', and at the same time facilitates off shore trawling by issuing retrospective licenses to appease EU environmental concerns?

    Small scale drift net fishing (a small net hung between bamboo posts), which doesn’t have any environmental impact and has been a traditional fishing technique for 100’s of years, gets in the way of commercial interests such as shipping and tourism. The big money wins out an DoF does their dirty work for them.

    Off shore trawlers that are destroying the livelihoods of small scale fishermen and their communities are working in the interests of commercial interests such as CP (as highlighted in the video). Again the big money wins out and DoF ensures it’s business as usual regardless of the damage to environment and Thai people.

    For anyone who knows Thailand, of-coarse this is no surprise.

    Let’s hope that media coverage, and people like Jim Wickens, can bring the issues more attention where the products are being consumed and where the export markets are.

  2. It doesn't matter what country you live in. We live in a corporatocrazy where the money and power of large corporations rule. Heaven help anybody who gets in their way or challenges their power.