Though aquaculture plays an important role in providing foods and healthy diets, there are concerns regarding the environmental sustainability of prevailing practices. This study examines the trends and changes in fisheries originating from aquaculture production in Thailand and provides insights into such production’s environmental impacts and sustainability. Together with an extensive literature review, we investigated a time series of Thai aquaculture production data from 1995 to 2015. Overall, Thai aquaculture production has significantly increased during the last few decades and significantly contributed to socio-economic development. Estimates of total aquaculture production in Thailand have gradually grown from around 0.6 to 0.9 million tons over the last twenty years. Farmed shrimp is the main animal aquatic product, accounting for an estimated 40% of total yields of aquaculture production, closely followed by fish (38%) and mollusk (22%). Estimates over the past decades indicate that around 199470 ha of land is used for aquaculture farming. Out of the total area, 61% is used for freshwater farms, and 39% is used for coastal farms. However, this industry has contributed to environmental degradation, such as habitat destruction, water pollution, and ecological effects. Effective management strategies are urgently needed to minimize the environmental impacts of aquaculture and to ensure it maximally contributes to planetary health. Innovative and practical solutions that rely on diverse technology inputs and smart market-based management approaches that are designed for environmentally friendly aquaculture farming can be the basis for viable long-term solutions for the future.
The fisheries sector significantly contributes to global food security, nutrition, and livelihood of people. Its importance for economic benefits, healthy diets, and nutrition, and achieving sustainable food systems is highlighted by several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), i.e., SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), and SDG 14 (Life Below Water). However, due to unprecedented population levels, the contribution of the fisheries sector to fulfills these roles is challenging, particularly given additional concerns regarding environmental well-being and sustainability. From this perspective, this study aims to identify the links and trade-offs between the development of this sector and the environmental sustainability in Thailand via a critical analysis of their trends, current ecological impacts, and more importantly, their contributions to several individual SDGs. A time-series of Thailand’s fisheries production from 1995 to 2015 indicates a recent reduction from around 3.0 million tons in 1995 to 1.5 million tons in 2015 of wild fish and shellfish from marine and freshwater habitats. The maximum sustainable yield of these species has been exceeded. Conversely, Thailand’s aquaculture production has continued to grow over the last decade, resulting in a reduction of mangrove forest area, wild fish stocks, and water quality. While capture fisheries and aquaculture production significantly contribute to several SDG targets, there are potential trade-offs between their development and the achievement of SDGs within the planet dimension, i.e., SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14, and SDG 15 (Life on Land). On the one hand, the mitigation of overfishing will be beneficial for the targets of SDG 14, leading to more sustainable resource management. On the other hand, it might cause a decrease in the volume of marine catches and economic and social profits. We conclude that the SDGs can serve as a framework for both policymakers and industrial workers to monitor and compromise on regulations that will optimize productivity in the context of sustainable development.
Fisheries resources play a crucial role in economic development, food security, and healthy nutrition for humans. Consequently, fisheries are of paramount importance for several Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDGs 1 and 8, which are related to poverty and economic growth, as well as SDGs 2 and 3, which are about zero hunger and good health. On the other hand, fisheries can also negatively influence the ecosystem (SDG 14, life below water). Thailand is one of the world’s most significant producers and exporters of fisheries products. This present work describes the evolution of wild fisheries production in Thailand for over twenty years and discusses its impact on fish and shellfish supplies. The present overview uses mainly the official statistical catch data of Thailand. From 1995 to 2015, Thailand’s marine fisheries production gradually decreased from approximately 2.8 million tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes per year. Concerning taxonomic composition of the catches, no dramatic shifts were recorded during the 20-year period. The main observation seems that for less abundant taxa, such as Chirocentridae, Sillaginidae, Ariidae, Sharks, and Psettodidae, their part in the catch was halved between 1995 and 2015. On the other hand, inland capture fisheries remained constant at 0.2 million tonnes per year. The annual value of wild fisheries production was, on average US$1.7 billion. Notably, trawl fishing systematically reduced during these two decennia, resulting in a fishing efficiency of approximately 140 tonnes of demersal fish per trawl unit per year in 2015. During 2008–2015, the number of registered gill net fishing boats drastically increased from 2,300 to 6,600, and this has led to a dramatic decline in fishing efficiency to about 10% in 2014–2015. More in general, Thailand’s continuous decline in marine capture production was linked to increased fuel prices, tightening restrictions by neighbouring countries for access into their exclusive economic zone, and the depletion of resources due to overfishing and illegal fishing. Against rising concerns about the sustainability of intensive fishing practices in recent years, Thailand is ramping up efforts to reduce the exploitation of fishery resources to levels that would achieve maximum sustainable yields. In particular, the intensity of fishing based on gill nets needs to be addressed in the future. Hence, Thailand’s fisheries production faces the pressure of realising the importance of sustainable fisheries resources management and its impact on marine life and biodiversity, in addition to its role as a significant food source for a healthy population.
Sustainably feeding a growing human population is one of the greatest food system challenges of the 21st century. Seafood plays a vital role in supporting human wellbeing, by providing bioavailable and nutrient-dense animal-source food. In Thailand, seafood demand is increasing, and wild capture fishery yields have plateaued, due to oceanic ecosystem degradation and fishery stock exploitation. In this study, we investigated the supply trend of fishery products and subsequent seafood-derived nutrient availability over the last decade. In addition, we explored the possibility of predicting seafood availability and consumption levels, including adherence to Thailand’s national food guide and global dietary recommendations for sustainable seafood consumption. Our findings indicate that, at national-level, fishery products supplied between 19% and 35% of the Thai populations recommended dietary protein intake, 4–6% of calcium, 6–11% of iron, and 2–4% of zinc from 1995 to 2015. Nevertheless, our research also reports that if Thailand’s wild-caught seafood production were to decrease by 13%, as is highly likely, by 2030, the country might face a per capita supply deficit of fish and shellfish to meet healthy and sustainable dietary recommendations (28–30 g/day), let alone the current Thai average intake (32 g/day). Although a 1% per year increase in aquaculture production might bridge this supply gap, policymakers and relevant fishery stakeholders must consider the long-term environmental impacts of such an approach in Thailand.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2023 scite Inc. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers
Part of the Research Solutions Family.