China and mastery of the Mekong

97 kilometres of rocks in Thai waters stand between Beijing and dominance over the Mekong, a mighty river that feeds millions as it threads south from the Tibetan plateau through five countries before emptying into the South China Sea.China has long wanted to dredge the riverbed in northern Thailand to open passage for massive cargo ships – and potentially military vessels.Ultimately, a link could be carved from Yunnan province thousands of kilometres south through the Mekong countries – Myan

12 January 2020

The deadly cost of sand mining

Early this year, a 16-minute documentary called “Lost World” was released. The documentary, directed by Kalyanee Mam and produced by Go Project Films, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung, showcases the damage done to Cambodian coastal fisheries by the industrial-scale dredging of sand for sale.

22 September 2019

Southeast Asia’s lucrative tuna industry

Tuna is the world’s most valuable fish. It can be found in inexpensive cans on a supermarket shelf or on the auction block being sold at high prices for its premium flesh, destined for high-end Japanese restaurants that serve sushi and sashimi. Globally, the commercial tuna market is worth approximately US$42 billion per year.Indonesia and the Philippines are among the top five tuna producers in the world.

6 September 2019

Shark trade to be restricted

Sharks appear to be getting an image makeover as countries move to restrict trade in several species of the oceans' top predator in a push to extend more protections to marine species.International restrictions on trade in 18 species of sharks and rays and three sea cucumber species appear set to take effect, following a series of votes in Geneva on Sunday at a meeting of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The parties voted overwh

28 August 2019

Coral reefs are facing extinction

Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface and provide for the coastal communities that accounts for 35 percent of the global population. ASEAN’s 173,000 kilometres of shorelines has at least 500 million coastal people living within 30 kilometres of the reef. This proximity has made nearshore ecosystems vulnerable to habitat change from destructive human activities such as overexploitation, pollution, ineffective governance and coastal development.

15 June 2019

Thailand struggles with fisheries management

Thailand’s ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention on 30 January has won it international plaudits – but how well will it be received locally?As the first country in Asia to ratify ILO’s Convention 188, Thailand – the world's third-largest seafood exporter – has received praise for “setting an excellent example” to ensure acceptable living and working conditions for fishermen onboard ships, according to ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

6 February 2019

Marine protected areas increasing fish stocks

Surrounded by severely damaged coral reefs, the fishers of Indonesia’s Seraya Besar, off the west coast of Flores, struggle to make ends meet. Year-on-year fish stocks have shrivelled as the damaged reef can only support limited life.

30 October 2018

Ghost fishing threatens marine life

Over the years, a number of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing nets have found their way around the coral reefs of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Concerned that this may impact their business, divers operating within the protected marine park have removed the discarded fishing gear.

6 August 2018

Protecting the rights of fishermen

When news of the Thai government’s move to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) Work in Fishing Convention (Convention 188) reached fisher associations, they came together to protest. This week, fisher associations from 22 coastal provinces of Thailand threatened to bring the country’s fishing industry to a halt by ceasing work if the government there fails to address their grievances within seven days.

4 August 2018