Fisheries co-operatives consist of members who are involved in fishing activities, fresh water, brackish water and sea-water. The main purpose is to strengthen the production and marketing of fishermen through joint purchasing, marketing, access to loans and knowledge of the fishing industry, and also promoting of natural resources conservation.
The first fisheries co-operative started as a fresh water fisheries society named Pissanu Fishery Co-operative, Ltd., established in 1949 in Phitsanuloke province with 54 fresh water fisher folk members.
There are three categories of fisheries co-operatives based on their members’ occupantion;
- Deep Sea Fisheries Co-operatives-members involved in the following types of fishing: large fishermen who go fishing outside Thailand’s territorial water; middle fishermen who fish within Thailand’s territorial water; and small (traditional) fishermen who go fishing within 3,000 meters offshore.
- Brackish Water Fisheries Cooperatives – members who are involved in shrimp and brackish water farming including the cultivation of aquatic animals.
- Freshwater Fisheries Cooperatives – members are involved in the farming of fresh -water fish and other aquatic animals (e.g. frogs).
Main Activities of fisheries co-operatives, the same as in agricultural cooperatives, include:
Marketing activity – sale of members’ products.
Purchasing activity – obtains fishing equipment and other necessities for sale to members. Consumer products and gasoline are included.
Saving and loans.
Service activity. - provides various services to members such ac setting up a fish and aquatic market, digging and improving fish ponds and training in new fish farming techniques.
The aggregate business volume of fisheries cooperatives during 1990 to 2001 is shown in Figure 6, and the average business volume (per member) is shown in Figure7.
The graphs showed the outstanding performance of purchasing activities that gasoline is the main item. The fluctuation during the first five year is reflected by the oil price that seems to be more stable during the last five year.