Songkhla fishermen demand more time before removing illegal fishing nets

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SONGKHLA, 1 September 2015 – Hundreds of fishermen from Songkhla have submitted an open letter asking the government to extend the September 10th deadline for the removal of illegal fishing traps from Songkhla Lake.

About 500 local fishermen from the province gathered yesterday at the area’s Damrongtham Center to hand a letter to the government representative. They were protesting against Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s invocation of Section 44 regarding the suppression of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The order is for various illegal fishing tools including ” Pong Pang (โพงพาง)”—fish traps widely used by the locals— to be removed on or before September 10th. The tools will be removed by officials unless fishermen remove them by that date.

The fishermen asked the officials to review the order, claiming that the move would gravely affect them, while urging authorities to find a better solution.

Vice Songkhla Governor Precha Damkengkiat accepted the letter before forwarding it to the provincial Damrongtham Center, which will file the complaint and eventually forward it to the Prime Minister.