Fish Trap Commons - Thailand

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John Hawker:

"Fish Traps

I know I have written about the but I have added a lot of people since the it's a pretty interesting subject (too me anyway)

Many of us learnt in school I am sure how rice farmers in Asia place in their rice paddies fish fingerlings. As the rice grows, the fish eat things that would eat the rice, get big, and when the water level drops, get caught by the farmer and get eaten in turn - often with the new rice - YUM

However what happens when floods?

Well the fish all get away as you've seen from my photo's!

So where can you fish?

Fishing here isn't a sport, it's catch and eat as much as you can!

I posted photo's of Maar Noi's fish trap's a few week's back.


What happens is the farmers now have their fish swimming everywhere.

Water is also flowing everywhere.

And everyone is allowed to fish along any of the water ways. People "share"

Where there is a large fish trap like this, first come first served. Anyone can use it.

No one owns it! Usually the fish we get this time of year is pretty small. Nothing bigger than 6 inches or 15 cm. That would be LARGE!!! Most fish half that size!

Of course with all that water ti break - and everyone helps repair it!

I remember the first rains of the season I was showing another mate around and the same fish trap a huge fish 18 inches long, 45 cm, which is about the biggest fish I've seen caught around here. Most fish as you can hear are tiny and grow not too large, a foot or 30 cm at most in the wild.

In Fish Dams fish get much bigger of course - but back to subject on hand, err, in the water and getting away or not.

Some of the fish traps are small like Maar Noi's or the last one I photographed yesterday.

Large one's tend to be community owned and maintained. Smaller ones are built by someone but on common water ways.


Common water anyone can use

Common owned fish traps or smaller private owned ones.

I find this collective way of living interesting. There are no written laws, just verbal.

How the fish become collective property once they are free is interesting too."