The call from Dr Thon comes following a photo of a small hammerhead shark being served on a dish at a restaurant in Koh Lanta going viral after being posted on the Facebook page of Sunshine Sketcher yesterday (Aug 5).
A message posted along with the photo reads: “This is the end of a baby hammerhead shark. The photo is is taken at the “Try Me Restaurant” on Koh Lanta on June 30 which serves three dishes with baby sharks and recently other tourists have also complained that they have seen a rising number of baby sharks ending up on its menu.
“The hammerhead shark showed on the plate is the same species that according to research in Thailand shows its number all over the world have been decreasing up to 95 per cent within a 10 year period which indicates that they are nearly endangered according to the survey from IUCN Red List. Poachers are responsible for the recent decline of hammerhead sharks. These poachers will sell hammerhead sharks to restaurants which then turn them into a delicacy.
The message then went on to say that “Koh Lanta is a tourist attraction known for its beautiful scenery especially at Moo Koh Lanta National Park. Most tourists visit the island to enjoy the beauty of the sea and maybe hope to see baby sharks swimming in its environment not on a menu in a restaurant
“It is time for operators on Koh Lanta to partition for a restaurant such as this one to stop selling baby hammerhead sharks on its menu and declare Koh Lanta to be free from selling marine animals such as hammerhead sharks that are valuable to our marine eco system
“Please do not support eating sharks because sharks in the ocean are more valuable than the dead shark on your plate.”
Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat commented on his Facebook page yesterday about the photo asking for people to share the post and comments, “I have discussed with Mr Kasemsun Chinnavasa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, that officials propose to add hammerhead sharks to the endangered species list because the recent state clearly shows that it has declined 95% in 10 years. Mr Kasemsun said that the DMCR is collecting information about this, but while waiting please help preserve this animal. If Phi Phi Island can stop selling it why can’t Koh Lanta.”