Degree Name

Master of Science (Marine Science)


Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS)


Overcapacity has been a global concern in fisheries for many decades as it has created one of the most severe impacts on fisheries stocks. It is commonly found in fisheries with open access system, limited regulations and inadequate controls on fishing capacity. Although the awareness of controlling fishing capacity is significantly growing worldwide, the problem of overcapacity is unlikely alleviated. It is due to a number of factors, including the lack of understanding of the concepts of fishing capacity and relevant terms, the lack of property user rights in fisheries and the inadequacy of effective management to address excess capacity and/or overcapacity issues based on the international standards. Thailand is one of the coastal States confronted with problems of overcapacity, and it has become the main obstacle for Thailand to achieve the sustainable fisheries.

This thesis clarifies the concepts of capacity in fisheries and examines the issue of overcapacity both in Thailand and global level. The criteria derived from the international and regional fisheries instruments to manage fishing capacity and address excess capacity and/or overcapacity problems are also determined and used as a basis to evaluate the adequacy of current legal, institutional and technical management frameworks for managing fishing capacity of Thailand.

Based on the analysis, the failure of fishing capacity management currently conducted by Thailand suggests the inadequacy of framework necessarily adopted to effectively manage fishing capacity and address overcapacity problem in Thailand. Gaps and challenges in managing fishing capacity are therefore identified. The lack of comprehensive legal and policy framework is found as one of the significant gaps, and the complexity of the nature of Thai fisheries (multi-gear and multi-species) is one of the big challenges confronted by Thailand in managing its fishing capacity. The thesis lastly provides options and recommendations for Thailand to address such gaps and challenges in order to achieve the effective management of fishing capacity for sustainable fisheries.