“From our research in 15 provinces, the biggest markets for young seafood are modern trade and supermarkets, while fresh markets and souvenir shops are only responsible for selling a small fraction of non-adult seafood products,” the CSO Coalition said in online seminar titled “Baby fish, a big issue of Thailand’s seas”.
“Catching juvenile fish will prevent them becoming adults and laying eggs to increase offspring and will drastically decrease fish population in the sea,” it pointed out.
“This will adversely affect the aquatic ecosystem and eventually hurt the economy as the fishery industry will yield lower output.”
The coalition also revealed that some sellers use the trick of changing the names of young seafood to make customers think they are not young fish but a different breed of adult fish that are small by nature.
“Yong mackerel, for instance, has been renamed ‘clear mackerel’, while young anchovies have been called ‘Khao San fish’ [rice fish]. Young squid and horse crab are also marketed under totally different names of Katoy squid and Katoy crab, whereas ‘Katoy’ in the southern dialect means miniature but not necessarily young,” CSO Coalition said.
“As these young fish are small in size, they are often caught and sold in bulk at high prices,” it said.
“If fishermen had waited for another six months, those fish would have become bigger and could be sold at more reasonable prices per weight ratio. If the problem persists, consumers will eventually have to buy fish at higher prices as good quality fish will become harder to find,” CSO Coalition warned.
It therefore urged modern trade operators and supermarkets to stop selling young fish and invited people to support the campaign by signing up at Change.org/BabySeafood.
“To solve this problem everyone must work together. The government must issue suitable laws to limit the catching of young fish and traders must stop selling non-adult seafood, which will help reduce market demand greatly, while customers must also stop buying such fish,” the CSO Coalition pleaded.
Published : July 15, 2021
By : THE NATION