Famous as a destination for water activities- such as diving, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking- Mergui Archipelago is a group of 800 deserted islands in the Andaman Sea, in Myanmar’s deep south. It is also home to the Moken semi-nomadic tribe living on and off the sea.
It is said that the Moken, or “sea gypsies”, have migrated to Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia from China around 4 thousand years ago. Their life is dominated in greater part by fishing and it’s the ocean feeding the Moken people: “Everything happens at sea. The ocean is our universe”.
However, their living conditions are put today in serious peril due to industrial fishing and offshore drilling activities taking place in the areas where they live: “Today, the big boats come and take every fish. I wonder what they will do when the ocean is empty”, asks a Moken man from the Surin Islands in a conversation with Runar J. Wiik, the film-maker of “No words for worry”.
According to one of our marine biologists, the condition of world’s oceans is in a bad state. It is estimated that there are currently 1 billion hungry people in the world and this number is going to rise with the constant increase in population size. Since 1980s, the number of fish in the world catch has been decreasing and it continues till now. However, by saving the oceans and making them more abundant and bio diverse, we can save lives of these billion people for whom its sources are the main means of sustenance.
In 2014, the European Union renewed its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which is a set of rules for managing the fishing activities in the whole territory of Europe. The ongoing policy foresees that between 2015-2020, the catch limits will be managed at a sustainable level ensuring at the same time a proper management of fish stocks in the long- term perspective.