The depletion of mangroves in southern Myanmar is impacting local fisheries near the island villages.The illegal charcoal trade persists due to a lack of law enforcement and oversight in Myanmar and Thailand.Many Burmese labor workers, charcoal kiln owners and traders are indebted to the charcoal warehouses that they ultimately supply in Thailand, which guarantees a steady supply of charcoal into Thailand. RANONG, Thailand — Beyond a metal gate in Ranong, a port town in southern Thailand, a warehouse is filled nearly wall to wall and floor to ceiling with bags of illegally sourced charcoal. Children linger outside the building and ride their bicycles as their parents toil inside. The eastern side of the warehouse faces an inlet of the Andaman Sea. Workers hoist bags of charcoal off a long wooden boat powered by a small gas engine, which just arrived from Myanmar this morning. Others repackage charcoal into bags labeled as animal feed or that are left unmarked to be further processed before delivery to China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia by sea. The charcoal that gets sent to Ranong is made from mangrove trees found in southern Myanmar. It’s illegal to produce charcoal in Myanmar for commercial use, so figures of cross-border trade are sketchy at best. (A 2017-2018 Mongabay investigation found that approximately $10 million worth of charcoal was being smuggled from Katha, a town in northern Myanmar, into China.) Thailand used to produce its own charcoal, but the government banned the practice in the late 1990s.