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The Field Study (contd.)

Table 2.36 Contraceptive methods ever used by community, 1998

Family Planning MethodsSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
Ever used%Never used%Total%Ever used%Never used%Total%
Female sterilization1218.55381.565100.069.16090.966100.0
Male sterilization-0.065100.065100.0-0.066100.066100.0
Safety period23.16396.965100.057.66192.466100.0
External ejaculation11.56498.565100.0710.65989.466100.0

Notes: 1) For Sai Dang village, there are 3 missing cases.

2) For Koh Maphrao village, there are 2 missing cases.

Table 2.37 Contraceptive methods in current use, Sai Dang village, 1998

Family Planning MethodsAge Group (Sai Dang Village)
Female sterilization-0.0419.0633.3228.61224.5
Male sterilization-0.0-0.0-0.0114.312.0
Safety period-0.0-0.0-0.0114.312.0
External ejaculation-0.014.8-0.0-0.0-0.0

Note: 19 cases = Not applicable

Table 2.38 Contraceptive methods in current use, Koh Maphrao village, 1998

Family Planning MethodsAge Group (Sai Dang Village)
Female sterilization-0.0-0.0416.7233.3612.5
Male sterilization-0.0-0.0-0.0-0.0-0.0
Safety period-0.0-0.0-0.0116.712.1
External ejaculation-0.0-0.0-0.0-0.0-0.0

Note: 20 cases = Not applicable

Table 2.39 Source of contraceptive by community, 1998

PlaceSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
Village Public Health Centre4555.65770.4
Private Hospital11.211.2
Private Clinic67.4-0.0
Province Health Office-0.033.7

II.3 The fishery households

Of the 79 sampled households in Sai Dang village, 31 households (39.2 percent) are engaged in fishing activities regardless of whether their working members are fishermen or fishery employees (Figure 3.1). Of the 94 households in Koh Maphrao village, 51 (54.3 percent) are thus engaged (Figure 3.2).

Main and secondary occupations

Some households have more than one person engaged in fishing activities. Of the 31 households in Sai Dang, there are 39 persons and of the 51 households in Koh Maphrao, there are 66 persons who are engaged in fishing activities (Table 3.1). In Sai Dang, among those thus employed, 66.7 percent are fishermen, 7.7 percent are employees and the rest (25.6 percent) engage in fishing activities as a secondary occupation. In Koh Maphrao, those engaged in fishing activities are mainly fishermen (80.3 percent) and employees whose main occupation is fishing (7.6 percent), while the rest (12.1 percent) engage in fishing activities only as a supplementary occupation. Put another way, among the 36 fisherfolk in Sai Dang, 26 (72 percent) engage in fishing as their main occupation, whereas among the 66 fisherfolk in Koh Maphrao, 53 (80 percent) engage in fishing as their main occupation.

The same table also shows the proportion of persons engaged in fishing as their minor occupation. It is notable first that Sai Dang has a lower percentage than Koh Maphrao of people fully employed with no secondary occupation, i.e. 51 percent compared to 74 percent, respectively. Second, a higher proportion of fishermen in Sai Dang than in Koh Maphrao also have secondary occupations other than fishing, i.e. 23 percent compared to 14 percent. That is to say, Sai Dang fisherfolk in fishing households have more varied occupations than those in Koh Maphrao, who are more dependent on fishing activities.

Social and demographic characteristics

As is usually the case, the overwhelming majority of persons engaged in fishing activities are men (Table 3.2). In both Sai Dang and Koh Maphrao, the sex ratio is 18 females for every 100 males. In other words, fisherwomen account for only 15.4 percent of all fisherfolk in both communities. In Sai Dang, the highest percentage (41 percent) of those who are engaged in fishing are in the 20–29 age group, but in Koh Maphrao, the highest percentage (38 percent) are in the 30–39 age group. The average age of persons engaged in fishing activities is the same in both villages - about 35 years. The average age, however, masks the fact revealed by field observation that in Sai Dang, there are two distinct groups engaged in fishing activities: a small group of older local fisherfolk and a large group of younger Burmese fishing families who have recently settled in Sai Dang. In contradistinction, fishing activities in Koh Maphrao village are carried out by successive generations of fisherfolk.

The overwhelming majority of those who are engaged in fishing activities attained a very low level of formal education. Table 3.3 shows the level of education attained by persons engaged in fishing activities. It indicates that regardless of age group, a higher percentage (10.3 percent) of fisherfolk in Sai Dang have no education, compared to those in Koh Maphrao (4.5 percent). This is most likely due to the influx of Burmese immigrants. However, considering the low level of education attained by the majority of them, the finding conforms to the data found in the 1985 and 1995 censuses (Table 2.14 in Part I). That is, in Sai Dang, about 56 percent completed lower primary and 28.2 percent completed upper primary education. In Koh Maphrao, the percentages are 64 percent and 27 percent, respectively. If lower and upper primary education levels are combined, then about 85 percent of those engaged in fishing activities in Sai Dang and 91 percent of those in Koh Maphrao went through primary education.

Fishing activities

Fisherfolk in Koh Maphrao spend more years in fishing activities than their Sai Dang counterparts. Table 3.4 shows that Sai Dang fisherfolk engage in them for an average of 8.1 years and their Koh Maphrao counterparts for 12.8 years on average. This is due to the fact that many young household members in Koh Maphrao start helping their parents in their fishing activities as soon as they finish compulsory education.

Concerning the availability of boats in the fishermen and fishery employee households, roughly 90 percent of fishing households in both villages own one fishing boat, while the rest either rent one or do not have any boat (Table 3.5). The boats are almost exclusively outboard-powered and the few that are inboard-powered are small-scale. Out of the 31 households surveyed in Sai Dang, there is one without a boat, one with a rented boat and 29 have their own boat or boats (eight of these have two). In Koh Maphrao, out of the 51 households surveyed, five have no boat, one has a rented boat and the rest have their own boat. The one household in Sai Dang without a boat is that of a fishery employee, and three of the five households without a boat in Koh Maphrao engage in coastal aquaculture (cage culture of mussels and grouper); the other two are fishery employee households.

Tables 3.6 and 3.7 show boat length and horsepower (HP) in the two villages. In Sai Dang, it should be stated first that there are two boats without engines, one 4.5 metres long and the other of 5 metres in length, and second that one boat is being built and one has gone missing. Thus there remain 33 boats to consider. Table 3.6 indicates that 21 out of the 33 boats (63.4 percent) are of 5 to 7.4 metres in length and most of them (71.4 percent) have between 5 and 9 HP. Table 3.7 shows similar data for Koh Maphrao: of the 45 boats there, 18 (40 percent) are 5 to 7.4 metres long, all of 5 to 9 HP, 15 (33.4 percent) are 5 to 7.4 metres long, all of 7.5 to 9.9 HP, and 10 (22.2 percent) are of 10 metres or more in length, and 70 percent of these are of 5 to 9 HP.

Thus, the two tables on boat length and horsepower show that the majority of boats in Sai Dang (63.4 percent) are 5 to 7.4 metres long and 66.7 percent have between 5 and 9 HP. In Koh Maphrao, the majority of boats (88.4 percent) also have 5 to 9 HP, but boat length varies somewhat. That is, 40 percent are 5.7 metres long, 33 percent are 7.5 to 9.9 metres long and 18 percent are 10 to 12.4 metres long. In short, taken altogether, the boats in Koh Maphrao are longer and more powerful than the boats in Sai Dang.

Table 3.8 compares the distance from the coast within which fishing boats operate. It is apparent that boats in Sai Dang operate much closer to the coast than do those in Koh Maphrao, and that the distances covered vary greatly among fishing boats in Koh Maphrao. About 26 percent of the fishing households in Sai Dang and about two percent of those in Koh Maphrao do not go farther than one kilometre from the shore. About 42 percent in Sai Dang and 20 percent in Koh Maphrao operate at the range of one to four kilometres. On average, fishing boats in Sai Dang go out about five kilometres from shore, while those in Koh Maphrao go out about 19 km into the high sea to fish. One obvious reason for the difference is the coastal geography: Sai Dang is very close to Myanmar and situated on the eastern side of a narrow, deep estuary, the part that is called the Kra Buri River; Koh Maphrao is facing the open sea.

Table 3.9 is a comparison of fishing gear between the two communities. It is apparent from the gear used that Sai Dang fishing households engage more in shallow water than in deepwater fishing. The gear used most often are crab traps (26.5 percent), hand push nets (23 percent) and long lines (16 percent). Gill nets and surrounding nets are also used, though much less (12 percent each). In Koh Maphrao, sand whiting gill nets are the most popular; 53 percent of all the fishing gear used are of this type. About 18 percent of the gear used are other gill nets, and 10 percent are long lines for rays. There are also four households that engage in culture of green mussels and grouper.

Table 3.10 lists the problems that first come to the interviewees' minds. Those reporting that they have no problem are proportionally higher in Koh Maphrao (57 percent) than in Sai Dang (about 25.8 percent). Among those reporting problems, the majority in Sai Dang mention border-related problems as their first concern. These problems range from being shot at by Burmese patrol boats, being caught for ransom, fear of unintentionally trespassing into Burmese waters and fear of being caught. Their second main concern is the high operating costs, especially the cost of petrol. In Koh Maphrao, the majority report two equally important worries: the high operating costs (high price of fuel) and problems related to fishing gear and fishing craft as well, such as gear being destroyed by pushnetters (Figure 3.9). They also report that their boats are stolen or often have engine problems.

Table 3.11 lists the problems mentioned by the interviewees upon reflection. In Sai Dang, three equally worrisome problems mentioned are border-related hassles, diminishing fishery resources and higher competition. In Koh Maphrao, there is hardly any major problem even as an afterthought.

Annual income

Table 3.12 compares the net annual income from fishing activities in 1997 between the two village communities. Of the 30 fishing households in Sai Dang, eight (23 percent) earned less than B20,000 in 1997, 10 (33.4 percent) were in the B60,000–79,999 income group and only one (3.3 percent) earned more than B100,000. In Koh Maphrao, 18 percent earned less than B20,000 in 1997, 22 percent earned between B20,000 and B39 999, 20 percent earned between B40,000 and B59,999 and 18 percent earned more than B100,000. The average income from fishing activities in Sai Dang was lower than in Koh Maphrao (B47,910 compared to B62,866). This is only to be expected, as the fishing boats in Sai Dang are smaller, the fishing gear not as varied and the fishing distance not as long.

Table 3.12 compares the total net annual income per household engaged in fishing activities in 1997 between the two communities. Sai Dang households did not earn as much as Koh Maphrao households did. There was no notable difference if examined by income group, except for those under B25,000. In this category, the proportion of Sai Dang households was almost twice that of Koh Maphrao households. The average annual incomes of the two communities were quite different: B73,644 for Sai Dang, B82,380 for Koh Maphrao.

Table 3.14 shows the income from fishing activities as a percentage of the total annual household income in 1997 in each community. Sai Dang households were found to be less dependent on income from fishing than were the households of Koh Maphrao. This is due to the fact that the members of fishing households in Sai Dang engaged more frequently in secondary occupations while the only secondary occupation in Koh Maphrao is rubber tapping and processing (Table 3.1).

Role of women in coastal fishing

Table 3.15 reports the role of women in fishing activities. In both communities, roughly 42 percent of the women in the fishing households report that they do not assist in any fishing activities. Among those who help, the majority (55.6 percent) in Sai Dang do so by going out fishing with their husbands, while the rest engage in processing or selling processed products, or both, or selling fresh catches. In Koh Maphrao, women engage in more various activities related to fishing than do the women in Sai Dang. About 34.5 percent of them help mending fishing gear, 31 percent help by going out fishing and 20.7 percent help by doing both. The rest (13.8 percent) engage in selecting and selling fresh catches, fishing and selling the catches, selling the catches and mending gear, or all of the above. The engagement of Sai Dang women in fishing activities consists mainly in laying crab traps and collecting the catches. The women in Koh Maphrao go out into outboard-powered boats with their husbands and help controlling the boat while their husbands set up the gill net and later help dragging in the net and selecting the catches. It is notable that many women are not aware of their role in fishing activities and tend not to mention it unless probed. Thus, we believe that the actual role of women in fishing activities is more extensive than has been reported and, to do them justice, it is worth looking more closely into the role of women in fishing activities in Thailand.

Summary and discussion

In Sai Dang village, there were 31 households engaged in fishing activities in early 1998, accounting for 39 percent of the surveyed households. In Koh Maphrao village, 51 households engaged in fishing activities, i.e. 54 percent of the households surveyed there. Most of those who were engaged in fishing activities were self-employed males and reported these activities as their main occupation. The average age of fishermen and fishery employees was about 35 years in both communities. The great majority of fisherfolk (over 80 percent) had completed only primary education and only about 5 percent of them attained higher than primary education. Those in Sai Dang had spent an average of eight years in fishing activities, whereas those in Koh Maphrao had spent an average of almost 13 years. Roughly 90 percent of those engaged in fishing activities in both communities had their own boat, almost exclusively of the outboard-powered type. The boats in Koh Maphrao were larger and tended to operate further from shore. The fishing gear used in Sai Dang were more rudimentary than those used in Koh Maphrao and were not as varied. The most frequently used gear were crab traps in Sai Dang and sand whiting gill nets in Koh Maphrao. A higher proportion of fishermen and fishery employees in Sai Dang than in Koh Maphrao reported having problems. In Sai Dang, the primary concerns were border-related hassles and high operating costs. In Koh Maphrao, the majority reported two equally bothersome worries: high operating costs and problems related to fishing gear and damage from pushnetters.

The level of dependence on income from fishing activities was lower in Sai Dang than in Koh Maphrao fishing households. The average annual income derived from such activities was lower in Sai Dang than in Koh Maphrao, due mainly to the type of fishing gear used and the distance to the fishing grounds. This was also the case with the average total annual household income. The income of the fishing households in the two communities was lower than the regional average. As the regional average was calculated as gross household income and included non-fishing households, it is more appropriate to make the comparison with the average of the whole community regardless of household type. The conclusion derived, given inflation rates, was that in both communities, the average gross annual household income was lower than the regional average (of about B100 000) in 1997. In other words, if one may extrapolate, small fishing communities in Thailand are poorer than rural communities in general. However, examination of the data on gross annual household income by household type (Table 2.21) leads to the conclusion that in communities where occupations are diversified, fishing households are poorer than non-fishing households, and that the reverse is true in communities in which fishing households predominate.

The role of Sai Dang women in coastal fishing activities as reported were limited to laying crab traps, collecting small shrimps, processing them into shrimp paste and selling the processed products. The role of Koh Maphrao women was more varied, but their two main activities were fishing and mending fishing gear. The women were not aware of the importance of their role in fishing activities and tended not to mention their involvement until they were specifically asked about it. To get the true picture of the extent of women's involvement in fishing activities, a separate research is recommended.

Field observation and casual conversations in addition to the questions asked in the questionnaires indicated that the fishing households in Sai Dang were in a state of flux, while those in Koh Maphrao were very stable. On the one hand, there were fishing households whose members had recently migrated into Sai Dang from Myanmar; they were holding household registration cards that would eventually allow them to attain full Thai citizenship. On the other hand, there were long-established fishing households which had been impoverished over time due to fishery resource depletion and border problems, and some of their members were thinking of giving up fishing activities to become employees in the town of Ranong. In Koh Maphrao, the fishing households have been engaging in fishing activities from one generation to the next. Thus, it is likely that the proportion of local fishing households in Sai Dang will shrink because of the greater occupational opportunities in Ranong. No such tendency is apparent in Koh Maphrao in the immediate future, but it is likely to appear within a generation, as parents encourage their children to get as high an education as possible in order to move to white-collar jobs. Thus, it seems that in the next ten years, Sai Dang is likely to change from a fishing to a non-fishing community, as fishing as an occupation will become unsustainable. Meanwhile, Koh Maphrao will remain a predominantly fishing community, though the proportion of fishing households will decline as the younger generations increasingly turn to white-collar occupations. Should any integrated coastal zone management programme be set up, it would have to involve all households in the communities, including the new migrant fishing households in Sai Dang and veteran local fishing households in Koh Maphrao. In both cases, the programme must take into account the fact that fisherfolk are poorly educated and not likely to manage the programme by themselves, so that outside support, such as that from non-governmental organizations, would be required. In addition, the programme would have to make certain that women have an opportunity to participate in it.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 Fishing households in Sai Dang

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 Fishing households in Koh Maphrao

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 A poor fishing household in Koh Maphrao

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 A typical squatter toilet in Koh Maphrao

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 Outboard-powered boat in Sai Dang

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.6 Outboard-powered boat in Koh Maphrao

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7
Crap portable lift netsAcetes set bag net

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 Fishing gear used in Sai Dang

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 Fishermen using a fish gill net in Koh Maphrao

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 Outboard-powered boat using a push net, Phuket province

Figure 3.10Figure 3.10
A juvenile crabBycatch from push net

Figure 3.10 Bycatch of an outboard-powered pushnetter, Pukhet province

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11 Woman processing shrimp paste in Sai Dang

Figure 3.12

Figure 3.12 Women cleaning green mussels in Koh Maphrao

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13 Women repairing and making nets in Koh Maphrao

Table 3.1 Main and secondary occupations of household members engaged in fishery activities by employment status, Sai Dang village, Ranong province, and Koh Maphrao village, Phuket province, 1998

Occupational StatusSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
Main OccupationSecondary OccupationMain OccupationSecondary Occupation
Fishery Employees37.7-0.057.611.5
No Secondary Occupationn.a.n.a.2051.3n.a.n.a.4974.2

Notes: 1) Sai Dang village has 31 households engaged in fisheries.

2) Koh Maphrao village has 51 households engaged in fisheries.

Table 3.2 Age and sex of persons engaged in fishery, Sai Dang village, Ranong province, and Koh Maphrao village, Phuket province, 1998

SexSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
60 & over1-12.62134.6

Notes: 1) At Koh Maphrao, there is one woman with unknown age group.

2) Mean age at Sai Dang village = 35.7; and Koh Maphrao village = 35.4

Table 3.3 Age by education of persons engaged in fishery, Sai Dang village, Ranong province, and Koh Maphrao village, Phuket province, 1998

AgeSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
Educational Level CompletedEducational Level Completed
No EducationEarly PrimaryLate PrimaryHigher than PrimaryNo EducationEarly PrimaryLate PrimaryHigher than Primary
60 & over-1--12--

Table 3.4 Years engaged in fishery by age group, Sai Dang village, Ranong province, and Koh Maphrao village, Phuket province, 1998

AgeSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
Under 55–910–1920 & overTotal%Under 55–910–1920 & overTotal%
60 & over-1--12.9-1-123.5

Notes: 1) Average number of years engaged in fishery in Sai Dang are 8.1 years.

2) Average number of years engaged in fishery in Koh Maphrao are 12.8 years.

Table 3.5 Availability of boats in fishery households, Sai Dang village, Ranong province, and Koh Maphrao village, Phuket province, 1998

Number of BoatsSai Dang VillageKoh Maphrao Village
Number of Fishery Households%Number of Fishery Households%

Table 3.6 Boat length and horsepower, Sai Dang village, Ranong province, 1998

Boat Lengths (meter)Horsepower
Under 55–910–1415–1920 & overTotal%
Under 5-3---39.1
15.0 & over------0.0

Notes: 1) There are two unpowered boats, one is 4.5 and the other is 5 meter in length.

2) There is one boat being built, the length of which is 7.0 meters.

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