INTRODUCTION In Thailand, government help to shrimp farmers has transformed the shrimp industry into a major export earner for the country.
SV Shrimp farming village
LV & CU Villagers digging new shrimp pond (3 shots)
CU Water pump - irrigation channel to ponds (3 shots)
GV Shrimp pond with nets and lamp
CU Shrimps and SV women and children peeling them (5 shots)
GV Shrimpers setting out at sunrise (2 shots)
SV Boat approaching shrimping nets and taking traps out of water (3 shots)
CU Boy takes shrimps from basket trap (2 shots)
SV Man looking at live shrimps (2 shots)
CU Shrimps in boat PULL BACK TO boat leaving with catch and returning to village (2 shots)
SV Man nets out baby shrimps from tank (2 shots)
GV Tanks containing larger shrimps man taking shrimp out of water (4 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION In Thailand, government help to shrimp farmers has transformed the shrimp industry into a major export earner for the country.
SYNOPSIS: Originally shrimping was conducted everywhere on a catch as catch can basis. When it became apartment to the densely populated poorer nations that food had to be intensely cultivated more sophisticated methods were introduced. At the Klongkassem and Kokam villages in Samutsakorn, about 31 miles (50 Kms south west of Bangkok, the villagers dig a new shrimp pond, supplied by a traditional water wheel but powered by a modern motor.
Attracted by a lamp at night, the shrimps find their way into the nets and to the tables of Thailand and Eastern Asia. The ponds are an improvement on the ancient harvesting methods and the government is working to improve them even further.
The main government activity takes place at Songkla Lake in Southern Thailand. The process begins at dawn.
Songkla Lake is one of the largest in South East Asia and provides the livelihood for the Muslim fishermen living around it. It's virtually a large estuary -- fresh water at the top end, and saltier towards the sea.
Each fisherman has about five bamboo traps. In the harvesting months of October to December they might capture one or two kilograms of shrimp in each trap. These might sell for anywhere between three and five dollars per between three and five dollars per kilogram (82 pence to 1.36 per pound) depending on their size. The bigger the shrimp the higher the price. But as in all primary industries there is an element of risk, and it is this risk that the government seeks to reduce.
The mature shrimps are taken to Songkla City to the government Marine Hatching Station where they are bought for breeding purposes.
At the hatchery, hundreds of thousands of baby after hatching from eggs, the baby shrimps are distributed free of charge to the Songkla Lake fishermen and farmers who own shrimp ponds who release them.
In 1962 nearly 1,300 tons of shrimps were exported -- mainly to Japan. In 1975. 13,000 tons were exported -- a crop worth more than 42 and a half million dollars (nearly GBP25,400,000 Sterling). From the humble shrimp - export gold.