Crab Hatchery Learning Center Project
PTT Exploration And Production Public Company Limited
INTRODUCTIONThe Crab Hatchery Learning Center project is one of PTTEP’s Creating Shared Value projects to empower local fishermen to encounter the reduction of marine life in the gulf of Thailand by integrating folk wisdom with academic knowledge resulted in a greater survival rate of crabs and higher income of fishermen. In 2013, the project was initiated in Songkhla province, the southern part of Thailand where PTTEP has its Petroleum Development Support Base. The surrounding community are the local fishermen who relied on traditional fishing gear. At the beginning, the communities misunderstood that the Exploration and Production industries was the cause of the declining of crab population in the gulf of Thailand. After studying and engaging with stakeholders, PTTEP realised that overfishing and lack of conservation awareness are the causes of the problem. By realising the potential social impact of the local community, the project was initiated with the objectives to increase crab population and income for fishing communities, as well as, to build fishery network and awareness of marine conservation.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYThe initiative reflects PTTEP’s commitment towards business sustainability in which economic, environmental, and social factors are integrated. It was initiated under the strategic planning process including Stakeholder Analysis, Development of Strategic Projects and Communication Plan, Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation. The strategic plan was designed with three key drivers of project success which are Community Empowerment, Strategic Partnership and Integration of folk wisdom and academic knowledge.
PTTEP provided financial and academic support to empower the community by joining hands with the local fishermen group, consisted of 200 fishermen, in transforming the Crab Bank into Crab Hatchery learning Center. In 2015, the first learning center at Ban Hua Khao was established with hatching facilities and appropriate renewable energy technology for crab breeding. To raise awareness on marine conservation, the fishery networks along coastline have been built and the marine protected areas have been set up. For a solid foundation, all community fisheries networks are registered with the government and self-operated by its members. PTTEP partnered with local government agencies such as the Department of Fisheries, the National Institute of Coastal Aquaculture, and academic institutions such as Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya. The new hatchery method was also initiated by integrating local wisdom and scientific knowledge.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTSince 2013, the programme has generated tremendous benefits to the society at large including the new hatchery method resulted in a greater survival rate of the crabs and increase in income of local fishermen as well as the expansion of community fisheries networks for long term operation. The project increased around 200 million of crabs every year, totaling to more than 1,000 million of crab to date. The fisheries statistic recorded by government agency shows the amount of crab caught in Songkhla province has increased significantly from 278 tons in 2013 to 802 tons in 2016. At present, crab caught per day is about 200 – 600 kilograms or twice as much as in the past. The economic value of crab caught in Songkhla’s industry is approximately 34,650,000 THB or 1,066,000 USD. The revenue increase for fishermen from selling crab is 60,000 THB or 1,800 USD per household per year which is twice as much as prior to joining the programme. 3 learning centers were established and approximately 8,000 visitors each year at Ban Hua Khao. The project was expanded to 32 fishery networks in Songkhla and Pattani province with a total of almost 1,500 members.
FUTURE DIRECTIONPTTEP will expand the scope of the project from supporting in marine animal breeding and nursing to enhancing capabilities of local communities in marketing their products for long term economic sustainability. PTTEP has planned to establish more learning centers and encourage knowledge sharing among communities. To raise awareness on marine conservation, PTTEP will continue to expand fishery networks along coastline. PTTEP will ensure the project sustainability through intensive community engagement and the strategic collaboration with government agencies and academic institutions for greater outcomes in the future.
PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) is a national petroleum exploration and production company based in Thailand. It is a subsidiary of the state-owned PTT Public Company Limited. The company was founded on 20 June 1985.