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Fisheries play a significant role in Thailand in terms of sustaining food security and contributing to the local and national economies. The consumption of fish in Thailand (per person) is double that of the world average, highlighting the general preference for fish as a source of protein in Thailand. During the period 2001 to 2003, Thailand was the second largest global exporter of fishery commodities (in terms of value), highlighting the importance of this sector in the Thai economy.

This report examines the current status of production and participation in large-scale and small-scale fisheries in Thailand. It also looks at both the marine and inland capture fisheries of the country and capture fisheries out of Thai waters by Thai fishing boats.

The main conclusion of this report is that inland capture fisheries are considered to be underestimated by a factor of at least five, suggesting considerable undervaluation of this resource. Furthermore, a large proportion of Thailand's reported marine capture production comes from outside the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is estimated at around 41 percent. The main fishing grounds for this production are within the EEZ of Indonesia and Myanmar. Inland capture fisheries are possibly overlooked in terms of food security and probably make a larger contribution to food security than the marine capture fisheries, especially as a significant proportion of the latter is targeted at the production of fish feed and animal feed.

                                                                                   He Changchui
                                                                                   Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative
                                                                                   FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

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