The Department of Fisheries has announced its intention to close the Andaman Sea to commercial fishing activity for three months starting from April 1st 2015. The Director-General of the Department of Fisheries, Jumpol Sanguansin, revealed that the closure will prevent commercial fishing in four provinces adjacent to the Andaman Sea. These provinces are Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Trang.
Mr. Jumpol explained that marine life will be protected from commercial fishing for a period of three months until the end of June 2015. During this period, which is when most fish species are spawning, marine life will be given the chance to recover and juvenile fish species can mature without human disturbance.
The banning of fishing in certain areas to help protect fish stocks has been imposed and enforced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives since October 2009 and has been an annual occurrence in the Gulf of Thailand since then. In some areas where minimal fishing is still allowed, certain equipment will also be prohibited.
The closure will cover an area of about 4,600 square kilometres. Violators will be prosecuted for a maximum fine of 10,000 baht and a jail term of 1 year. It is understood that the ban will not affect recreational and sport fishing.