Departmental Reports




Swingle, Homer, Ray Allison

Date: 1971

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: thailand, aquaculture, fisheries, international, development

Category: International Country Report

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1.The following recommendations for more rapid progress in development
of fisheries in Thailand are based on the present level of research knowledge;
upon discussion with personnel of the Thai Department of Fisheries
and USOM/Thailand; and from past and current observations of the problems.
Certain previous recommendations considered pertinent and not yet implemented
are repeated.
2. For development of highly productive fish cultures, some of the most
important ingredients are efficient species and efficient combinations of
fish. Research has begun, but is proceeding slowly because relative! few
ponds are available for research on this problem. Preliminary research
indicates the Chinese carps, Tilapia nilotica, and the common carp are
among the efficient species, whereas Trichogaster pectoralis and Puntius
gonionotus appear less efficient. Research must be continued to determine
the most efficient species that feed on plankton, higher plants, periphyton,
insects; decaying organic matter, molluscs, and other groups of fish-food
organisms, so that suitable combinations may be selected for different environments.
It is recommended that an additional tOO ponds be constructed

at the stations where land and adequate water are available, so that the development of fishcultures can proceed more rapidly.
3. Other important ingredients for .highly productive fis.hcultures are feeds.
Some feeds are suitable only as pond supplements, whereas others that
are nutritionally complete are suitable for use in cage culture and other
cultures where natural foods are absent or present in insufficient amounts.
The total protein and amino acid composition of various locally abundant
potential feed materials should be compiled, ordetermined where analyses
are not presently available. Sources of essential vitamins must also be determined.
It is recommended that the fishery biologist responsible
for development of fish feeds at the Bangkhen Station be sent to Auburn
for a 3-month period to learn techniques in feed formulation, testing
and analysis, and that an additional biologist specialize in this field for a 2-year period of study abroad.
4. During the past survey, fish parasites were found to be causing high
mortality on fish farms cl.llturing the catfish Clarias. Extension personnel
listed this as their single most important problem. One student is at
Auburn University for a 2-year period of training in fish parasites and
diseases. Additionally, two more personnel should be sent for intensive
training. Research on fish disease control shol.lld be conducted at the
Bangkhen Station, with periodic training courses for personnel in ex·tension and research at the other stations.
5. One of the best programs carried on by the fisheries research stations
that affects large numbers of people in the Northeast is construction of
village water reservoirs. This program was described in the previous
reported dated January 1, 1970. The Fisheries Department engineers
locate suitable areas for the reservoirs, and through A.R.D., grant
money is allocated for cement and other necessary supplies. The village
donates the labor for construction of the dam. Many of the stations have
surveyed sites ranging in number from a few dozen up to over 100
reservoirs in their respective provinces, but the rate of construction
is very slow-- 2 to 3 reservoirs per station per year. It is recommended
that this program be assisted by the allocation of war-surplus
construction machinery to speed up the rate of construction.
6. The new program in the Fisheries Department for assisting villages in
managing their reservoirs for high fish production has been very successful.
This consists of stocking combinations of species that utilize
the various natural fish-food organisms, plus the use of phosphate
fertilizers. This has increased production from 100 to over 500 per
cent. A project to extend this program to other areas has been prepared
by the Fisheries Department and submitted to USOM for support. It is
entitled, "Fishery Development in Five Irrigation Tanks". This is a good project, worthy of support.
7. A new project is being formulated to test methods of culturing fish in
bamboo-fenced pens extending from the margins of a reservoir out to
water depths of 1 to 2 meters. This is described in Section 3. 06 of this
report. This method of culture appears promising for use where land
holdings are too small and incomes too low for construction of fish ponds
by individual farmers. Where reservoirs exist, intensive culture of
fish in penned sections appears quite feasible. Research on this method
of culture is proposed for 2 sites as described in this report. Intensive
and expanded research for its rapid evaluation should be quite important and its support is recommended.
The Fisheries Survey Unit of the Fisheries Department works out of
8. Bangkok making the fish populations surveys necessary for preimpoundment
studies for evaluation of the effects of reservoir construction.
It also collects data that makes possible evaluation of the effects on fish populations
of reservoir management procedures.
It is necessary for this unit

to have adequate ·portable aluminum boats, trailers and motors as these
surveys cannot be conducted in a suitable manner by wading in the shallow waters of a reservoir.
It is necessary to sample fish in water to depths

of 8 to 10 meters.
It is recommended that requests for such equipment

be approved.
9. It is recommended that the Fisheries Department set up a system of
surveys to more accurately measure the total catch of fish from inland
waters. Statistics on the most important fisheries are very inadequate,
and do not accurately measure trends in the annual catch.
10. In response to recent success in spawning of various species of shrimps
and their culture to the juvenile stage, research should be intensified
upon development of Intensive shrimp cultures in the coastal and inland
waters, both alone and in combination with fishculture.
11. Plans have been made to acquire the preliminary information necessary
for experimental management of large impoundments up to 48, 000 rat in area.
It is recommended that preliminary research be carried on to

evaluate the present standing crop, catch and composition of each in each
of the impoundments. This will be followed by various management procedures;
the effects of which will be measured by changes in standing crop, catch, rates of growth, water quality and other parameters.
12. It is recommended that length-weight data on fishes from Thai rivers

and impoundments, which have been accumulated by the Fisheries
Department over the past 10 years or more, be computerized and
consolidated to provide a handbook for use by biologists in evaluating
relative conditions of fishes under various systems of management .
13. It is recommended that completed data on life histories and food habits

of Thai fishes be published as soon as possible so that this information
will be available for management of fish populations.
14. It is recommended that a handbook be prepared giving descriptions and

pictures of Thai fishes. This is needed wherever fisheries surveys are
being conducted in Thailand or in neighboring countries.
15. Drawings have been made of many species of algae occurring in Thai
waters. Plans should proceed to check the identification with qualified
authorities and to prepare an illustrated handbook for their identification.
16. The Fisheries DepartJnent must investigate the magnitude of the pollution
problem in river systems emptying into the Gulf of .Thailand. The
estuarine areas are the breeding grounds for Macrobrachium shrimps
and the nursery grounds for marine shrimp. The rich Gulf of Thailand
fisheries furnishes most of the marine fisheries catch. The 5-year plan for fisheries and agriculture development includes establishment
of extensive commercial shrimp farms along the coast. All of this can
be jeopardized by pollution from heavy metal wastes from industry, and by excessive organic pollution.
It is recommended that the Fisheries Department determine the government agencies presently engaged in
pollution monitoring and abatement.
If these are considered inadequate

for protection of the fisheries, then the Fisheries Department should
arrange for a cooperative survey to determine the magnitude of the
problem, and subsequently develop plans for pollution abatement and control.

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