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.