the same old story: where did all those fish go?
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- Top 12 day trips from Phuket
- Phuket water sports
- tour Phang Nga by boat
- dangers in Phuket tourists should be aware of
“We used to fill the boat in just two hours. And the fish were this big ....”
It’s the fishing story of planet Earth, told in similar words in countless languages by grandfathers on every continent. It's Phuket’s story too. Of course there are always a few fish here and there, and on a lucky day you can catch just about anything. However, the Andaman Sea has taken a battering by the Thai commercial fleet, the world's fifth biggest. Most Thai trawlers now roam the waters of other countries because their own seas have been so thoroughly dredged and pillaged.
Phuket does indeed have a sports fishing industry, though it's neither very big nor modern. Still, a day out in a boat fishing near the islands makes a great break from life in beachfront resorts, and children love it. Families can mix fishing with an island excursion.
However, for the more serious billfish angler, Phuket has one excellent surprise – the sailfish, outlined below.
By law, trawlers are not permitted to drop nets within 3 kilometres of any shore in the country. The law, however, is not enforced and right here on Phuket it is common to see commercial fishing boats hauling their nets just a few hundred meters offshore. From time to time the destructive commercial trawlers also come into conflict with artisanal fishing families out just to fill their family pots. The sea bed in many parts of the country is being dredged destructively clean.
The upbeat side to a fishing trip in the Phuket region is that even if you don't catch many fish, you can generally have a great day out. The weather is always warm, the ocean is an unfailing 28 degrees and delightful for swimming, and there are many islands on which one can stop for lunch, or a family break.
And if you're lucky you'll come back smiling like the people in the photo here.