“Blue Crab Identity Menu” : Promoting food wisdom, food security knowledge and careers of local communities utilizing culinary knowledge and technology via the Walailak Blue Crab Bank.
By Mr. Pavit Tansakul, Dr. Yeamdao Narangajavana, Dr. Sukhuman Klamsaengsai
This an academic service project aiming to provide benefits at community level. The project focuses on making local community aware of the importance of “Blue Crab” and “Inshore Fisheries” in the local area. With the uniqueness of local resources, the food quality has been improved under the Walailak Blue Crab Bank. It also educates fishermen and community groups of housewives for sustainable food resource management. Local community should have access to safe and adequate food supply to provides necessary nutrition. The sustainable fishing delivers a tremendous recovery of fish stocks and their habitats, as a result, greater food security. Therefore, this project helps promoting knowledge and skills for increased food production, such as:
- Principles of good food manufacturing practices (Good Manufacturing Practice: GMP) to ensure safety and consumer confidence
- Technology for analyzing food nutrition (Food Nutrition) in order to design nutrition labels – product label design (Food Nutrition Label and Food Label Design) that reflect the community’s values and identity.
- Vacuum sealing technology (Vacuum Sealer) to help preserve the freshness of ingredients in bags for longer period of time. In the business of selling frozen ready-to-eat food (Frozen Ready-to-(h)eat Food).
Ban Nai Thung Blue Crab Bank and Coastal Fisheries Learning Center, Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province founded in 2003 with the primary goal of increasing participation in coastal resource management. The organization comprises a variety of specific interest group of locals such as savings groups, community shops, fishing equipment funds, and so on. Subsequently, the number of “blue crabs” and marine animals in the area grows year after year. To ensure the long-term viability and stability of the grassroots economy, “Fisherman’s housewives” formed a new group called “Muslimah local fishing in the tank” or “Lui Le” shop, a local small restaurant business located in the learning center since 2019.
Nai Thung local fishing Muslimah group or “Lui Le” shop was founded in August 2020 by a group of Nai Thung Muslimah local fishermen to collaborate on the operation of a community seafood restaurant. It aims to generate income and self-sufficiency within families, communities, and between communities. The restaurant is owned and operated by the community. The activities of community participation include selecting natural ingredients from sustainable coastal fisheries, prohibiting hazardous chemicals, and returning some profits to Tha Sala Bay Restoration Fund. The group currently has 36 members and a board of 11 executive committee, with Ms. Suta Tohitae serving as the board’s president. The board has been registered as a community fishing organization according to the Fisheries Department’s announcement in 2015 regarding criteria for registration of local fishing community organizations in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in aquatic animal processing on September 29, 2021
In order to provide knowledge, skills, and technology for safe food production and preservation for food security to fishermen and housewife groups; academic service project offers an initiative that transfers knowledge and skills for appropriate ingredient handling abilities for the sake of the community’s fishermen and residents’ long-term viability. This will lead to the achievement of SDG Goals number 2: Zero Hunger. End hunger, access to food security knowledge, skills, or technology. In addition, second is Goal 17: Strengthen implementation mechanisms and revive the global partnership for sustainable development. These academic services will lead to income distribution and economic growth of the Tha Sala community including the creation of cooperation networks for support and collaboration under the mission of academic service, social service and future research.
Later, feedback discovered that coastal fishermen and a group of housewives have knowledge, skills, and the ability to use related technology in order to ensure food security to support the ” Nai Tung Muslimah Local Fishing Group ” community.
- The group had access to sufficient food and create outstanding food items that reflect the community’s identity, such as 1. Blue crab curry with Chaplu leaves, 2. Steamed blue crab steamed, and 3. Sour Tigerfish soup.
- The community can create “Frozen” “Ready-to-(h)eat Food” with food production knowledge and skills to meet standards. Sufficient to meet the needs of the community and consumers.
- Conduct nutritional analysis and food product labeling, which promotes nutritional knowledge among community members.
Results from promotion of “Providing appropriate knowledge, skills, and technology” makes coastal fishermen and the Ban Nai Thung community has knowledge, skills, and technology that are important in managing food resources sustainably. It also creates awareness of the importance of one’s own way of life and coastal fishing wisdom, as well as creating a network between government agencies, communities, coastal fishermen’s groups (NGOs), Tha Sala Subdistrict Administrative Organization. Nakhon Si Thammarat Food Traders Club, Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Tourism Business Association, and Tourism Authority of Thailand Nakhon Si Thammarat Office. As a result, this project can be seen as a critical component in achieving “Food security” for coastal fishermen and Ban Nai Thung communities in a sustainable manner.