Getting into trouble: the diaspora of Thai trawlers, 1965-2002

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Butcher, John
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Lewis R Fischer, Helge W Nordvik

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2002
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Thai trawlers have been notorious for intruding into the waters of many countries in Southeast Asia and even in South Asia. This paper traces the history of the troubles Thai trawlers have experienced and caused since they burst out of the Gulf of Thailand in great numbers in the mid 1960s. The central question is why they have got into so much trouble. Although many have been arrested or even sunk, the remarkable point is that most have been able to get away with fishing in the waters of other countries. Some have entered into formal arrangements with the governments of these countries, but the great majority have made deal of various shade of legality with local authorities, paid off patrols when they have been detained, or used superior firepower or speed to escape arrest. Tracing the activities of Thai trawlers provides an insight into the degree of coherence and coordination of the states in whose waters they attempt to operate.

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International Journal of Maritime History

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14

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2

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Historical Studies

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