Trat’s fishing industry hit hard by shortage of migrant workers

TRAT: The fishing industry in this eastern province has been seriously affected by the shortage of migrant workers since the border between Thailand and Cambodia was closed to stem the Covid-19 pandemic, a fishing boat owner said on Sunday.

Boonmee Apibansri, who owns four fishing boats, said although there are still some Cambodian migrant workers remaining in the province, they are few and far between.

The border closure due to Covid-19 has made it difficult for Cambodian migrants to return to Thailand to work, he said.

Sometimes fishing boats have to leave the shore with only a few crewmen, who must therefore work harder than usual.

When the crew are back to the shore, their ability to relax is limited by the requirement to wear face masks, avoid crowded places and follow other restrictions, he said.

Apart from the shortage of migrant workers, the fishing industry has been hit by low fish prices due to weak demand, resulting in a drop in revenue such that it is difficult to meet fuel and labour costs, Mr Boonmee said.