Please tell us about WWF?
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters, and with activities in over 100 countries. We work to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and ensure that our planet stays healthy and vibrant for generations to come. One of our goals is to reduce the negative impacts of human activities, or our ecological footprint. This relates to my work, as I am trying to reduce the negative impacts from the fishing industry in Thailand.
How long have you been working for WWF?
I have been working with WWF Thailand for 2 years I am the Fishery Project Manager.
How would you describe your work here?
Thailand is the world’s third-largest seafood exporter but fishery resources have been drastically declining. Our work aims to improve seafood production in the country by using market-driven approaches such as creating demand from retailers and consumers for environmentally friendly, sustainably harvested seafood products.
Currently, more and more international buyers are coming on board to drive sustainable seafood consumption. Many leading hotel chains and restaurants around the world are requesting their suppliers to supply only certified and sustainable seafood. At a very minimum, the seafood must be in the process of becoming sustainable to be accepted by these leading companies.
What are the greatest challenges that WWF is facing?
The greatest challenge for us is low awareness of sustainability concept. Consumers should understand that their consumption choices really make a difference. Fish and crab with eggs are favorite dishes of Thai people but in fact this type of consumption prevents. Good logistics also help delivering more seafood to consumers meaning that we consume more seafood these days because of convenience and availability. Social media and restaurant review sites also accelerate the level of this type of consumption e.g. comparing restaurants or recommending Blue Swimming Crabs that still carry internal eggs. All of these factors make us overlook the fact that species in the wild, whether freshwater or marine, take time to grow up to market size for our consumption.
When their growth is behind market demand, people then consume smaller and smaller size of seafood. In many cases, they are juveniles and our consumption again prevents them from maturation and being able to generate new cohorts. Somtum or papaya salad with Blue Swimming Crab is always popular dish; however, we can notice that the size of crabs is getting smaller and smaller. These behaviors lead to the significant decline of fisheries resources.
What upcoming charity events do you have on your agenda?
In general, people can support and donate to WWF through the fundraising team or accessing our website at https://donate.wwf.or.th. Moreover, in LINE application, we have just launched the ‘Panda Gang’ LINE Sticker under theme ‘Let’s change Conversation to Conservation’. Please preview or download the: Panda Gang V.1 at https://line.me/S/sticker/1712807 and the ‘Panda Gang V.2’ at https://line.me/S/sticker/1774151 It is the easier way to support the conservation activities. Once you send the cute Panda Gang stickers to your friend, you can encourage them to save the nature.
It is the easier way to support the conservation activities. Once you send the cute Panda Gang stickers to your friend, you can encourage them to save the nature.
What can people do to help?
We will launch an awareness campaign on sustainable seafood consumption in 2018 starting with Blue Swimming Crab. This campaign will encourage seafood lovers to understand how changing your consumption behaviors could help conserve fisheries resources. The ultimate goal is to harvest seafood sustainably so we can enjoy this resource for the long term. If you are a seafood lover, join us to say no to juveniles and Blue Swimming Crabs with eggs and you will see the positive changes from the power of consumers.