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Officials dispel Phuket beach oil spill fears

PHUKET: The large swathe of dark water that stretched nearly a kilometre along Karon Beach over last weekend is the result of a yet another plankton bloom, and not an oil spill, say Phuket marine officials.

pollution, marine, environment, natural-resources, tourism,


Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 27 October 2016, 09:23AM


The alarm was raised yesterday by a post on the popular “Phuket Community Page” Facebook group, with a message stating that the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) had found an oil spill at a Phuket beach on Sunday (Oct 23).

The message said that officials from the Phuket Marine Biology Centre (PMBC) had investigated the area and discovered that water pollution also came from the canal near by. Water samples were collected to undergo laboratory tests, said the post. (See Facebook post here.)

However, Suchart Rattanariangsri, Director of the DMCR’s Marine Resource Conservation Division at the Sixth Marine Coastal Resources Administration Office (Phuket), said the tests found no evidence of an oil spill.

“Regarding our report of suspected oil pollution at Karon spotted at 11am on October 23, our officials and officials from the PMBC investigated the area and discovered that the black-coloured water we saw was not from oil, as many thought,” he told The Phuket News.

The brown water spread out about 1,000 metres from north to south and was about 100 metres wide, Mr Suchart explained.

“The water had no foul smell and we were told that local fishermen caught many fish in the area. Residents said the water changing colour is normal for this time of the year. We collected some samples and took them back to the lab that day,” he added.

The culprit was no more than another “plankton bloom”, said PMBC fisheries expert Supasith Boonpeinpol.

“The test results are back and they confirm that the water contained no oil or other pollution,” Mr Supasith said.

“The colour of the water is the result of a plankton bloom in the area,” he added.

 

 

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Kurt | 28 October 2016 - 17:14:52

Christy Sweet: Yes, I remember you wrote about that camp recently.
Or Bor Tors are not very interested in health issues in and around these camps.
In Chalong, beside Soi 43 (by most people known as the Soi Anusorn by pass), close to 7-Inn Hotel, is a workers 'camp' area, so dirty, so filty, you can't imagine if you not walked around the soi's yourself to see it.
Many complains at Or Bor Tor, by people living in normal places around, it doesn't get the thai government in action.

Thai have a different perception about 'cleanness', you can see that along the roads.

A newspaper could make a fantastic scope there by reporting about it  with photos.

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Christy Sweet | 28 October 2016 - 15:33:45

200 meters from me is a migrant worker camp with about 800 residents all defecating into the north Bang Tao bay wetlands not 500 meters from Layan beach. I complained to Or Bor Tor, and to the Environmental Protection office in Phuket Town over 1 months ago. No response. 

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Ed Sanders | 27 October 2016 - 20:41:56

Yeah...another of those darn plankton blooms. I think not...I think completely saturated ground and water table pushing decades of sewage from unmaintained and saturated septic systems.  The water all in Kalim and Patong Bay was filthy brown with orange foam, heaps of trash, and a foul odor of untreated sewage. Phuket officials continue with their "no pobpem" announcements, but where do they think decades of sewage goes, since there is no treatment plant?  And this problem is going to get nothing but worse, and nothing is going to be done about it.

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