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The desk study

1.1 Introduction

Among the agricultural sectors of Thailand, fishery plays a significant role in providing food security and export earnings. In 1994. Thailand ranked number nine among the top ten producers of fish in the world, with a total production of 3.5 million tons, of which 3.2 million tons derived from marine fishery (Thailand Development Research Institute [TDRI], 1998, p. 11). The export of fish and fishery products in 1994 was valued at Baht [B] 110,285* million: B49,155.6 million derived from fresh and frozen shrimp, B15,619 million from canned tuna. B13,301.8 million from canned shrimp and B1,032.8 million from canned sardine (Department of Fisheries. Fisheries Statistics of Thailand 1994. pp. 60–63). By 1995, the export value of shrimp alone was second only to that of rubber. Among the main exports, export of shrimp amounted to 175,091 tons and was valued at B50,302 million (National Statistical Office, Key Statistics of Thailand 1996. p. 77).

Achieving increases in production and export earning comes at a price. At present, mere are rising concerns about the sustainability of the fishery sector. The catch rates, measured by catch per unit effort, are rapidly declining and are now only seven percent of the levels of the early 1960s. Commercial fishing vessels operate illegally not only within the 3-km coastal zone reserved for small-scale fisherfolk but also in the exclusive economic zones of other countries. Up to 40 percent of marine landings consist of trash fish (TDRI, ibid. p. vii). Commercial aquaculture has been encroaching upon mangrove areas and even upon inland areas where rice farming predominates, and has faced frequent outbreaks of disease.

The Thai government has made various attempts to tackle the above problems but not in an integrated manner. The Thai bureaucracy is characterized by patron-client relationships and by sectoral and autonomous management of budgetary allocations by line ministries. To evaluate such attempts is difficult, mainly because of the lack of adequate and up-to-date data. For example, despite the policy to control the number of fishing vessels, the annual registration data on fishing craft and fishing gear are believed to be unreliable. Despite the plans to improve the standard of living of small-scale fisherfolk, little is known about the latter besides the facts that they constitute the majority of the fishing population and account for less than 10 percent of the total catch by value and 5–6 percent by volume (TDRI, ibid. p. viii). Despite the degradation and depletion of coastal and marine resources, there is little current accurate information about the state of the resources and about the use of coastal land, which affects them to some extent.

In fact, there are data sources that could provide the information needed to develop appropriate planning for the Thai fishery sector. The National Statistical Office of the Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand conducted marine fishery censuses in 1985 and in 1995. These censuses provide detailed statistical information on the 24 coastal provinces that constitute the five coastal zones of Thailand. The information covers the economic structure of marine capture fishery and aquaculture, the socio-economic structure of fishermen's and fishery employees' households and the social and demographic characteristics of fishermen and fishery employees.

In order to assess the changes over the decade, the two censuses will be analysed. The analysis should provide a holistic view of the fishery sector, of which small-scale fisherfolk and their households comprise the majority. The set of statistical information in turn will provide the context for a field study of small-scale fisherfolk and their communities. The information from the censuses and the field study will then allow us to profile fishing communities in Thailand.

* Up to 1996, the exchange rate was about 25 baht to US$ 1, but at the height of the economic crisis in February 1998, the rate was 55.15 baht to US$ 1.

Objectives of the study

The study aims at presenting the demographic profile of coastal fishing communities in Thailand and to assess if Thailand is capable of managing its coastal zones in an integrated manner. More specifically, the objectives of the study are to examine:


To meet these aims, a desk study will first provide a statistical picture of the fishing population, based on the marine fishery censuses of Thailand carried out in 1985 and 1995. A field survey of two small fishing communities will then be carried out to round out the statistical profile. To go further in depth, interviews with a number of government officials and individuals from the surveyed communities will complement the desk study and field survey.

Background information

A profile of Thai fishing communities will stand out more clearly against the background of Thailand in general. Accordingly, this chapter will now provide an overview of changes in the total population, the fishing population, the natural resources and the state of the coastal environment.

Population changes in Thailand, 1980–1996

Thailand is a Southeast Asian country with an area of 513,115 sq km. It shares a border with Myanmar and Lao PDR in the north, with Cambodia and Lao PDR in the east, with Malaysia in the south, and with Myanmar and the Indian Ocean in the west. The country is divided into four geographical regions: the Central Region, the North, the Northeast and the South. As of 1997, there are 76 provinces (Figure 1.1).

In terms of population distribution, the Northeast is the most populous region, followed by the Central Region (minus the Bangkok metropolis), the North, the South and the Bangkok metropolis, in descending order. The distribution of the population among the regions has not changed much over time, regardless whether one looks at the census or at population registration figures (cf. the 1980 and 1990 population and housing censuses for the whole kingdom and the interior ministry's 1996 population registration). This may indicate little but genuine inter-regional migration, or the tendency of migrants not to report their change of residence.

In terms of growth, the population in Thailand has been increasing, although the rate of increase has slowed down. The 1980 census assessed the total population at 44,824,540, the 1990 census at 54,548,530, and the Ministry of Interior registered 60,116,182 persons by 1996. Calculations based on these figures yield an annual growth rate of 1.98 percent between 1980 and 1990, and 1.63 per cent per year between 1990 and 1996. These growth rates take into account legal immigration as well as natural population growth, but exclude illegal immigration.

The natural population growth rate has been declining, as is apparent in the 1985–86 and 1995–96 surveys of population change carried out by the National Statistical Office. Tables 1.1 and 1.2 show the crude birth and crude death rates and the rate of natural growth, as well as fertility measured by region. They indicate clearly that fertility and mortality have been declining in every region, resulting in the decline of the natural growth rate. The figures differ slightly by area and by region: crude birth and crude death rates were lower in municipal areas than in non-municipal areas. In the 1985–86 survey, the population growth rate ranged from 1.44 percent in the North to 2.41 percent in the South. By 1995, it was of 0.78 percent in the North and 1.73 percent in the South. The rapid decline in the growth rate results mainly from the decline in fertility, itself linked to the high contraceptive prevalence rate (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Population Data Sheet 1997). The trend toward a natural population growth rate below one percent signals that in the near future, it will be at or below replacement level, as the crude birth rate continues to decline and the crude death rate declines to its lowest possible level of around 4 to 6 per 1,000.

Migration, internal and international, is another factor contributing to overall population changes. In Thailand, as Table 1.3 indicates, internal migration has not been a significant contributing factor. Roughly over 90 percent of the population had not migrated from their province of birth or migrated only within their province of birth in the last five years. Of those not living in their province of birth in the census years, some 65–70 percent had not migrated for the previous five years.

In recent years, migration of labour from neighbouring countries has become an increasingly significant factor in demographic, economic and political terms. Demographically, it increases the population in Thailand by an unknown number, due to its largely clandestine nature. Estimates of the number of illegal migrant workers vary widely, but the most frequently cited figure is one million (Stern and Korsieporn, 1998). Chalamwong (1996) provides an estimate of illegal migrant workers by province in 1996 (Table 1.4) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs released a set of figures that show that 87 percent of the illegal migrants who had received work permits by 30 April 1997 were Burmese.

In short, official figures from the 1980 and 1990 censuses, the 1985 and 1996 population surveys and the 1996 population registration record point to an increase in the size of the population. The rate of increase, overall as well as natural, has been declining. Though the figures pertaining to fertility, mortality and natural increase are thought to be acceptable, the actual size of the population is believed to be larger than official figures establish, due to unknown numbers of illegal workers from neighbouring countries, especially Myanmar. It is generally believed that large numbers of Burmese immigrant workers are employed in fishery activities where they have replaced Thai employees.

Changes in the Thai fishing population, 1985–1995

In the 1980 Population and Housing Census of Thailand, fishermen are included under the main occupation group of “Agricultural, Animal Husbandry and Forest Workers, Fishermen and Hunters”. The 1990 census provides a more detailed classification, in which “Fish, Shrimp, Shell Farm Workers” is one category and “Fishermen” another. According to this census, there were 330,272 persons engaged in fishery, 239,787 of whom were fishermen and 90,485 fish, shrimp and shell farm workers. Among the self-employed fisherfolk, 80.8 percent were male, but among fish, shrimp and shell farm workers, only 61.3 percent were male. These figures most likely include freshwater fisherfolk and those employed in freshwater fish culture.

Marine fishery censuses were carried out in 1985 and 1995, and a marine fishery survey in 1990. Of the 76 provinces, 24 are coastal provinces grouped into five coastal zones (Figure 1.2). The countrywide fishery censuses established that there were 139,506 fisherfolk (including coastal aquaculture workers) in 1985, 148,306 in 1990 and 157,377 in 1995. Thus, the annual rate of increase was 1.23 percent during the 1985–1990 period and 1.19 percent during the 1990–1995 period. The rate of growth of the fishing population over 1990–1995, however, is lower than the total population growth rate for the same period, suggesting that a number of Thai fishermen gave up their occupation. The number of Thai fishery employees declined by about two percent; they are believed to have been replaced by foreign migrant workers.

Though the rate of growth of the population of Thailand has slowed down, it still means an increase in the total population and consequently a higher requirement for and exploitation of edible and non-edible natural resources.

Changes in marine resources and in the coastal environment

Tracing changes in marine resources and in the coastal environment in Thailand is no easy task. The changes are rapid and the information gathered tends to be fragmentary. To get scientific information on such resources as coral reefs and seagrass beds is time consuming, so that by the time the information is available, it has become outdated. The best that can be done is to give a general overview of some important marine resources and of the state of coastal land use.

Marine fisheries

Actual fish catches have exceeded the level of sustainability since 1977, when the catch reported was greater than the recommended maximum yield (Tokrisna, 1994, cited in TDRI, 1995, p. 36). The level of exploitation was high, and the level of overexploitation was higher in the Andaman Sea than in the Gulf of Thailand (Table 1.5). However, actual production included fish caught in non-Thai - especially Burmese - waters, which makes the total actual production far exceed the maximum sustainable yields.

For TDRI (1998. p. 27) several factors contribute to the decline of fishery resources. These are overfishing by an excessive number of boats, use of destructive gear, such as trawls and push nets, destructive fishing methods such as dynamite fishing, large-scale trawling in near-shore areas and use of push nets near coral reefs. In addition, there are widespread violations of regulations, such as fishing during ban periods, use of illegal mesh sizes and destruction of fish habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. TDRI also notes wrong or uncoordinated policies such as protecting the fishmeal industry at the expense of losing juvenile economic fish in the process of trash fish capture.

The Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has attempted to rebuild fish stocks by various measures, such as prohibiting fishing during the breeding season or in spawning areas and controlling the number of fishing craft and gear. The implementation of these measures has yet to be seriously considered. It is generally believed that the lack of enforcement is due to the lack of real collaboration among the relevant government agencies.

Mangrove forests, coral reefs, seagrass beds and the coasts themselves are important coastal resources. TDRI (ibid.) states that during the last few decades, all of these resources have come under increasing threat of degradation or depletion.


Mangrove land shrank from 2,219,375 rai* in 1961 to 1,047,370 rai in 1996, representing a decline of more than 50 percent over 35 years. More recently, the rate of decline has slowed down: over the 1986–1996 period, it was of about-1.5 percent per year (Table 1.6). TDRI (unpublished preliminary report on the state of the environment, BE 2540 [1997]; pp. 4–10) points out that this might be due to greater government and public awareness of the importance of mangroves, which has translated into consequent attempts at replanting and conservation.

TDRI (preliminary report, ibid., pp. 4–11) notes that there is a negative correlation between mangrove areas and areas under shrimp cultivation. This negative correlation is repeatedly marked and statistically demonstrated in State of the coastal resources of Thailand BE 2539–2540 [1996–97] and in separate reports of the state of the 24 coastal provinces (Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, 1997).

The continued reduction of mangrove areas has been caused by various activities: illegal encroachment by coastal aquaculture, mining, salt ponds, construction of roads, residential areas and factories, agricultural activities within or near mangrove areas, as well as urbanization and tourism. These activities reduce the mangrove areas either directly or indirectly through silting, erosion of the shoreline and water pollution.

Government efforts, through the Royal Forestry Department, to maintain and replant mangroves began in 1987. In June 1991, the Cabinet approved the replanting of mangrove in all the coastal provinces, the setting up of four seedling centres - in Trat, Phangnga, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Satun -, a plan to increase the effectiveness of the 34 mangrove management units in the country, and the setting up of another six such units in Phetchaburi, Rayong, Chumpon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Pattani. In April 1993, with Cabinet approval, two research and conservation centres were set up, in Phuket and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

* 1 rai = 1,600 square metres or 0.16 ha

Coral reefs

Sudara and Yeemin (1994) reported that Thailand has more than 300 major reef groups in four main areas along its coasts. Their distribution is shown in Figure 1.3. The reefs in the inner part of the Gulf of Thailand are along the islands on the eastern side, and most of them show that they are under severe pressure, particularly from fishing and tourism activities.

Further to the east (Rayong and Trat), the reefs along many islands were damaged in the past mostly by dynamite fishing, but the more recent factors are uncontrolled tourism and the capture of live fish for export to foreign aquariums.

To the southwest of Bangkok, the reefs along the western coast of the Gulf stretch from well south of Bangkok to the Malaysian border. While many of them are damaged by strong typhoons, all reefs close to the land have been damaged by sediment runoffs and pollution from the land. The area includes Samui, Pha-ngan and Tao islands, whose rapid development as tourist centres has resulted in the loss of more than 20 percent of the reefs.

The Andaman Sea reefs, which stretch all the way from the Burmese to the Malaysian borders, are the richest in Thailand, but those close to shore, particularly around Phuket Island, are showing signs of damage from sewage and sediment runoffs due to tourism-related development.

By 1991 only about 36 percent of the coral reefs were in good to excellent condition, and there was evidence in most areas of continuing degradation. The condition in 1991 of 27 coral reef groups is shown in Figure 1.4, which also lists the main causes of damage. The definition of quality (good, fair, poor, very poor) is not given, however, and this will make later comparative studies difficult.

Neither change in the state of coral reefs nor their present state can be assessed. The Department of Fisheries has been carrying an extensive study of the state of coral reefs for some years. However, the study is piecemeal and might not be able to provide sufficiently current data by the time it comes to an end, due to lack of expert manpower and subsequent inability to survey all the sites simultaneously. As coral reefs are important marine resources in themselves and provide habitat for the fish, their conservation and restoration is a prerequisite for fish stock building, and thus updated and current information about them must be made available.

Seagrass beds

Poovachiranon et al. (1994) reported on an initial study on five seagrass beds in Phangnga bay in 1988. Other researchers, individually or as research teams, carried out selective surveys of sites in 1989. 1991 and 1992, while the large-scale ASEAN-Australian project on living coastal resources, begun in 1988, covered both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

Remarkably, during the third ASEAN-Australian symposium on living coastal resources held in 1994, there was no paper to give an overview of the status and changes of Thai seagrass beds, even though there have been studies on the subject since 1988. One factor accounting for this is perhaps that each study is site specific and research is carried out at different times, making it difficult to synthesize the various studies and findings to present a state-of-the-art report on the subject.

Seagrass beds are more abundant in the Andaman Sea than in the Gulf of Thailand. Among the 25 surveyed (Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi and Trang), 40 percent were found to be in pristine condition with abundant seagrass cover, 30 percent in fairly good condition and 30 percent in rather poor condition. Degraded seagrass beds were found along the eastern coast of Phuket, where they were adversely affected by many man-made activities. In the Gulf of Thailand, a survey of seagrass around Samui Island found degraded seagrass beds in those areas where there were considerable industrial construction, shrimp farming and land development. It is worth noting that the ensuing study does not specify the year of the survey or the criteria used to grade the seagrass beds. Figure 1.5, provided by the Of fice of Environmental Policy and Planning, shows the current distribution of the main areas of seagrass. Unfortunately, the office's provincial reports of the condition of the seagrass are too general and do not specify the criteria used in assessing the state of preservation of the beds.

It is apparent even from site surveys that economic activities are the main factor affecting seagrass depletion. These activities are illegal, destructive fishing methods such as trawling or pushnetting within the prohibited 3-km offshore area, dynamite and cyanide fishing, silting caused by road construction near the shoreline or by tin dredging, as well as the release of waste water from shrimp farming and urban sewage. Given the current redoubled efforts to promote tourism in order to ease the country's economic crisis, tourism has become the more significant factor causing the depletion and deterioration of both coral reefs and seagrass beds. To halt the rapid decline in both resources, tourism must be regulated to cause the least or no damage to the resources.

As with coral reefs, the changes in the state of seagrass beds cannot be assessed. The likelihood of rapid depletion of seagrass beds makes it imperative to synthesize the state of existing knowledge on the subject. There is also a need to provide classification standards of the condition of seagrass beds - as well as of coral reefs - and to facilitate simultaneous studies of the various sites, so as to make the findings comparable.

Coastal land use

This is perhaps the most complicated part of any integrated coastal zone management project. First, there is the methodological problem of delimiting the area considered as a on the state of coastal areas is able to provide the number of people living there (OEPP, 1997), it must have certain criteria for defining a coastal area. These should be made public. This would provide a start when studying the land use pattern of a coastal province. Second, coastal land is being used for increasingly numerous purposes, and careful study at the provincial level is required to determine the relative impact of such uses on coastal land and coastal marine resources. Third and last, as changes in land use happen at an increasingly fast pace, the gathering and updating of information will be a serious problem in coastal zone management planning.

TDRI (April 1998, p. 23) states that a number of changes have occurred in the coastal land over the past three to four decades. These changes include human settlements and urban expansion, infrastructure development, tourism and industrial development, agriculture and the development of tree plantation and aquaculture. The changes have had a negative impact on the coastal land, especially the mangrove areas. Mangroves have been reduced to less than half of their spread before the early 1960s, due mainly to their replacement by shrimp farms. Failures of the latter in a number of provinces, especially in Zone II (Bangkok and periphery), have caused land dereliction.

At present, due to the high profitability of shrimp culture in general and its lower profitability in coastal areas compared to newly opened area, shrimp farming has begun to move to the southern coastal zones as well as further inland. Controversy at the moment centres on the encroachment of jumbo tiger prawn farming in the inland areas of 13 provinces in the Central Region. On 7 July 1998, the Cabinet banned such farming on the grounds of its negative impact (salinization) on adjacent rice farms as well as on international trade relations (by prompting trade barriers allegedly for environmental reasons), but the issue is far from dead.

Except for the information on the changes in mangrove areas and shrimp farming, there has yet to be a holistic, extensive and continuously updated set of provincial data on coastal land use for the specific purpose of defining the parameters of provincial coastal zone management. To obtain this kind of data would be an almost impossible task, as it would require concerted efforts to cut across the sectoral administrative framework of an entrenched bureaucracy. This type of administration prevents intra- and inter-ministry co-ordination. Take for instance the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Ministry of Transportation: these ministries have been totally unable to co-ordinate their activities in order to limit entry into fishing activities through effective control of fishing gear licensing and boat registration. Co-ordination between government bureaucrats and NGO workers has also been minimal, and relations between the “servants of the Crown” and the villagers are those of superiors and inferiors.

Given these unfortunate facts, we believe that only two main goals should be aimed for during the next few decades. One is to keep lobbying for a restructuring, and improvement in the performance, of the various government departments responsible for coastal land use and the use of coastal marine resources. For example, within the Department of Fisheries, the Fisheries Statistics subdivision should be able to make an estimate of the actual number of fishing craft and gear by comparing the data of the marine fishery censuses with the registration data and data from private sources such as the Fishery Association.

The other goal is to build databases on key factors that need to be considered in any integrated coastal management programme. The data should include all living and non-living marine resources, as well as the land use pattern in the coastal zone of each coastal province.

Summary and discussion

The objectives of this study are to examine the changes in the numbers of fisherfolk, fishing boats and fishing gear and the social and demographic changes that have taken place in the fishing communities over the last few decades. These changes are to be examined in order to assess their implications on the formulation of integrated coastal zone management programmes in Thailand.

The methodology used is a desk study comparing the relevant data from the 1985 and 1995 marine fishery censuses, two village surveys and interviews with local people and officials in Ranong and Phuket provinces.

This chapter has presented an overview of the situation of Thailand in terms of population changes and changes in the marine and coastal land resources. The population of Thailand has been increasing, albeit at reduced rates in recent years. Natural population growth has been declining due to declining fertility. Migration has become the main factor of population growth, especially the immigration of foreign (most notably Burmese) labour into the fishery sector of the Thai economy. The actual number of immigrants is unknown due to their clandestine nature, but what is known is that they have increasingly replaced or displaced Thai fishery employees, who must have shifted to other occupations in the light-industry and service sectors. Thus, two main issues arise from these population changes. The first is how the fishery sector can meet the increase in food requirement, including seafood, without further overexploitation of marine resources and without negative environmental impact on the promotion of aquaculture. The second is the role of foreign labour in fishery and its long-term social impact on Thai society.

Attempts to give an overview of the changes in marine coastal resources and in the state of the coastal environment have almost always failed due to the lack of adequate information and standard definitions or criteria to judge the condition of resources such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. The general conclusion is only that marine living resources have been depleting due to uncontrollable overfishing and use of illegal methods. Non-living coastal marine resources have rapidly deteriorated or been depleted because of such man-made activities as tourism, water pollution due to urban sewage and untreated water from farms and factories, and silting caused by infrastructure work and sediment runoff. Changes in land use patterns are even more difficult to gauge, first because of the lack of standard criteria to define a coastal zone, and second because there has been no precise, updated information on land use patterns at provincial level. Both sets of information (marine coastal resources and coastal land use patterns) are still inadequate, yet are requisites for formulating integrated coastal zone management programmes. It is thus suggested that in preparation for such programmes, Thailand concentrate on restructuring its bureaucracy and on increasing human resource capacities. Simultaneously, there is a dire need to build up databases on factors needed to plan the programmes. Meanwhile, the question is: what kind of programmes - and at what level of the regional administration-could be initiated before an integrated coastal zone management programme can take place?

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1 The provinces of Thailand

Source: Thailand in figures 1995–1996 by Alpha Research Co., Ltd

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.2 Provinces in the five coastal zones of Thailand

Source: 1995 Marine Fishery Census of the whole Kingdom

Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 Coral reef distribution (1991)

Source: Proceedings, Third ASEAN-Australia symposium on living coastal resources

Chulalongkorn University, 1994, p.40

Figure 1.4

Figure 1.4 Condition of coral reefs in Thailand (1991)

Source: Proceedings, Third ASEAN-Australia symposium on living coastal resources

Chulalongkorn University, 1994.p.94

Figure 1.5

Figure 1.5 Main locations of seagrass (1997)

Source: The State of Coastal Resources in Thailand, B.E. 2539–2540 (in Thai)

Office of Environmental Policy & Planning, (1997)

Table 1.1 Crude birth rate, crude death rate and natural growth rate by region: 1995–1996 and 1985–1986 surveys of population change

RegionSurvey of Population Change
Crude Birth RateCrude Death RateNatural Growth Rate (%)Crude Birth RateCrude Death RateNatural Growth Rate (%)
Whole Kingdom23.876.441.7417.906.021.19
Municipal Area18.974.221.4814.734.141.06
Non-municipal Area24.796.861.7918.726.501.22
Bangkok Metropolis18.923.841.5114.243.921.03
Central Region (excluding Bangkok Metropolis)
Northern Region21.607.231.4414.836.970.79
Northeastern Region24.876.821.8119.966.121.38
Southern Region31.177.032.4124.006.691.73

Source: NSO Report on the 1995–96 Survey of Population Change, 1997

Note: CBRs and CDRs are births and deaths per 1 000 population per year

Table 1.2 Fertility by region: 1995–1996 and 1985–1986 surveys of population change

RegionCrude Birth Rate (CBR)General Fertility Rate (GFR)Gross Reproduction Rate (GRR)Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
1985–861995–96% Change1985–861995–96% Change1985–861995–96% Change1985–861995–96% Change
Whole Kingdom23.9017.90-25.1090.3063.06-30.171.340.95-29.102,730.002,021.99-25.93
Municipal Area19.0014.73-22.4760.5043.05-28.840.870.63-27.591,766.001,331.59-24.60
Non-Municipal Area24.8018.72-24.5297.2069.33-28.671.451.07-26.212,962.002,284.74-22.86
Bangkok Metropolis18.9014.24-24.6659.2041.51-29.880.850.61-28.241,735.001,260.66-27.34
Central Region (excluding Bangkok Metropolis)
Northern Region21.6014.83-31.3478.9054.73-30.631.100.93-15.452,248.001,894.29-15.73
Northeastern Region24.9019.96-19.84100.0073.83-26.171.521.19-21.713,096.002,435.30-21.34
Southern Region31.2024.00-23.08127.9089.28-30.201.981.25-36.874,049.002,850.86-29.59

Source: NSO Report on the 1995–1996 Survey of Population Change, 1997, p. 39

Notes: 1) CBR = Number of births per 1 000 population per year

2) GFR = Number of births per 1 000 women of reproductive age (15–44 or 15–49 years old)

3) GRR = Average number of daughters born to a cohort of 1 000 women who follow a set of current schedule of age-specific fertility rates assuming none of the women die during their reproductive period

4) TFR = Sum of age-specific fertility rates, computed for each group of women of reproductive age. It indicates the number of children that would be born to a hypothetical cohort of 1 000 women who follow a set of current age-specific fertility rates, assuming none of the women die during their reproductive period

Table 1.3 Migration of population 5 years of age and over, by place of birth

Place of Birth1980 Census1990 Census
1)Living in Province of Birth in Census Year32,804,788100.0042,348,706100.00
 Has not Migrated for the last 5 years29,608,94890.2640,291,13295.14
 Migrated within Province978,6632.98964,2762.28
 Migrated from other Province319,9610.98549,4621.30
 Migrated from Abroad77,4000.245,1770.01
 Unknown whether Migrated1,819,8165.55538,6591.27
2)Not Living in Province of Birth in Census Year5,314,078100.007,127,461100.00
 Has not Migrated for the last 5 years3,450,09564.924,993,07570.05
 Migrated within Province169,1173.18135,8121.91
 Migrated from Province of Birth1,135,79221.371,543,16221.65
 Migrated from other Province318,3265.99398,2815.59
 Migrated from Abroad28,4460.542,2030.03
 Unknown whether Migrated212,3024.0054,9280.77
3)Unknown Province of Birth607,070n.c.377,218n.c.
4)Foreign Born & Unknown591,002n.c.201,829n.c.
 Total39,316,938 50,055,214 

Source: NSO, 1980 and 1990 population and housing censuses, Table 15 (1980) and Table 9 (1990)

Note: n.c. = cannot be calculated

Table 1.4 Estimate of undocumented migrant workers in Thailand

Coastal Zone/ProvinceEstimated No.%Main Activity
Coastal Zone 135,300  
3,5000.69fishery, shrimp farming, rubber orchard
26,0005.11agriculture, industry, construction, fishery, shrimp farming
5,8001.14fishery, industry, orchard, construction
Coastal Zone 2373,535  
Chon Buri
4750.09construction, transportation, fishery, service
Samut Prakan
30,0005.90industry, construction, fishery
275,34054.13water transport, construction, small-scale industry
Samut Sakhon
50,3009.89fishery, industry, agriculture
Samut Songkhram
13,0402.56salt farm, construction, fishery
1,2800.25fishery, construction
Coastal Zone 313,408  
Prachuab Khiri Khan
1,9100.38factory, fishery, agriculture
8,6031.69fishery, agriculture, construction
Surat Thani
2,8950.57fishery, shrimp farming, rubber orchard
Coastal Zone 412,220  
Nakhon Si Thammarat
5,3601.05fishery, shrimp farming, construction
6800.13industry, fishery, rubber orchard
5,0000.98fishery, rubber orchard, construction
1,1800.23agriculture, construction
Coastal Zone 574,168  
27,8985.48fishery, pier, industry
26,2905.17fishery, rubber orchard, construction
14,0002.75rubber orchard, construction, fishery
4,5500.89palm orchard, rubber orchard, construction
1,0000.20fishery, construction, labour, factory
4300.08fishery, shrimp farming, construction
All Zones508,63169.33(233,291 = 31.8% excluding Bangkok)
Other Provinces225,00930.67(500,349 = 68.2% including Bangkok)

Source: Chalamwong, 1996 p. 16 (Appendixed Table 2.3)

Table 1.5 Sustainable and actual fish yields in Thai waters in 1991 (tons)

AreaFish CategorySustainable Yield (i)Actual Yield (ii)Overfishing
Gulf of ThailandPelagic400,000559,502139.90%
Andaman SeaPelagic50,000166,628333.30%

Source TDRI. Natural Resources Management in Mainland Southeast Asia, 1995, p. 36

Table 1.6 Changes in mangrove forest areas by coastal zone and province, 1975–1996

Coastal Zone/ProvinceMangrove Forest Area (rai)% Change
Coastal Zone 1263,750240,700160,892119,32466,04577,62575,522-53.06
Coastal Zone 2268,125228,30019,43013,1625,33237,19237,37992.38
Chon Buri
Samut Prakan
Samut Sakhon
Samut Songkhram
Coastal Zone 371,87582,70050,34238,36925,57640,60939,554-21.43
Prachuab Khiri Khan
Surat Thani
Coastal Zone 4213,500131,50073,33669,07562,23762,29564,286-12.34
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Coastal Zone 51,198,1251,113,475923,674888,564927,195836,545830,650-10.07

Source: Unpublished preliminary report on the state of the environment, TDRI & ONEB, Chapter 4, p. 12

Note: 1 rai = 1 600 square metre

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