The paper first introduces the fisheries management dilemma faced by many Asian developing countries including Thailand and the key elements of a transition policy towards responsible fisheries. It then analyses current fisheries management costs in Thai marine fisheries. Major cost items include fisheries research (especially stock assessment), monitoring, control and surveillance, the placement of artificial reefs to rehabilitate inshore resources and to act as barrier against bottom trawling, and management administration. It then examines the required adjustments needed for improved management in order to increase the flow of net economic benefits and to reduce conflicts among fishermen using different types of fishing gear. The authors argue that in the Thai situation characterized by significant over-capacities large up-front adjustment costs arise in the transition to an effective fisheries management regime. These include compensation for the withdrawal of excessive fleet capacity, costs of facilitating the shift to alternative employment, and other incremental fisheries management costs. On the example of the Thai demersal fisheries in the Gulf of Thailand, it is shown that these large up-front adjustment costs could be recuperated in the long run through increased fishing licence fees but that the immediate financial needs may pose a heavy burden on the government budget that may justify external financial assistance.
Willman, R., P. Boonchuwong and S. Piumsombun. Fisheries Management Costs in Thai Marine Fisheries. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.