Fishing Boats Seek 50,000 Workers as Virus Spurs Migrants to Leave

Boats are docked in Krabi province on April 16, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Despite adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand’s fishing industry is currently looking to hire as many as 50,000 men to go out to sea aboard trawlers, said a senior government official on Saturday.

Phithoon Damsakhon, chief of the Department of Employment’s provincial branch of Ranong in southern Thailand, quoted the National Fisheries Association of Thailand as reporting some 50,000 men are currently being sought for hire as skippers, mechanics and other crewmembers aboard fishing boats based in several coastal provinces of the country.


Tens of thousands of Myanmar migrant workers, earlier employed by the fishing industry either on shore or offshore, have already left for their home country and many others are believed to follow suit, thus aggravating labor shortages in Thailand’s fishing sector, Phithoon said.

Many of those migrant workers had been gradually upgraded from being unskilled employees to skilled ones until they have called it quits over the last several years, he said.


He suggested the Thais, who might be currently jobless due to the pandemic situation, to go for such fishing occupations available aboard seagoing trawlers, many of which are being anchored off idly in Ranong and other coastal provinces.