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Chinese tourist arrested for feeding fish off Phuket despite ban

PHUKET: Authorities have begun to arrest tourists for feeding coastal fish and causing damage to natural resources after a Chinese visitor and his guide were apprehended off Koh Khai Nok island near Phuket.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 27 May 2016, 09:58AM

Suchart Rattanareangsri Director of the DMCR’s Conservation division (right) and official with Zhou Hongzhi from Sichuan. Photo: DMCR

Suchart Rattanareangsri Director of the DMCR’s Conservation division (right) and official with Zhou Hongzhi from Sichuan. Photo: DMCR

Sakda Wichiansilp, deputy director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, said yesterday (May 26) that the Chinese tourist was arrested on Wednesday (May 25) while feeding fish off Phuket and the tour guide was charged with supporting the act.

They were charged at the police station on Koh Yao district, Phang Nga, and released on bail of B100,000. They would be informed of a trial date later, he said.

“I would like to say that we are serious and are really making arrests. We have given enough warnings,” Mr Sakda said.

“Our officials said that the arrested tourist was frustrated by it and that the guide tried to settle the issue, but I told the officials that they must make an example so that no one else will dare to take such actions.”

But he advised that any legal action be carried out properly because the arrest of a foreign tourist could be sensitive to international relations.

QSI International School Phuket

Wacharin Thinklang, a director of marine and coastal resources in Phuket, said marine and coastal regulations prohibited the feeding of aquatic animals which were marine and coastal resources.

The offence is liable to a fine of up to B100,000 and/or a jail term of one year. He identified the arrested Chinese tourist as Zhou Hongzhi from Sichuan.

Marine officials have banned tourist activities at the coral reefs near three islands off Phuket’s east coast to prevent further damage to corals at the popular tour sites.

They have also ordered the removal of facilities and structures used for tourist activities from all three islands: Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai, all located a handful of kilometres from Phuket. (See story here.)

Read original story here.



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Christy Sweet 12 | 31 May 2016 - 08:01:23

Suspicious...or just plain paranoid?  If Joe12 wished to hide his identity, he could just be courteous, not use a new name with 12 after it. 

Rorii | 30 May 2016 - 17:36:34

Christy, a suspicious person would think joe12 has changed his name, and is using Google translate to help to conceal himself. I say this because his replies are similar to joe12's, albeit in "poor" English. 

Christy Sweet | 30 May 2016 - 14:12:40

Shall we now all put 12 after our names or is it a reference number for insult bot accounts?

Nasa12 | 30 May 2016 - 10:40:53

Kurt@ it`s only 1 option and that no China people in Thailand next year, Thailand kill them self, and a happy the China`s  go back to Malaysia fore Holiday.

Kurt | 30 May 2016 - 09:51:23

I find the smile on the photo of khun Suchart a bit premature, seen the fact that NOW on all these small islands many thai illegal and environment polluting activities go on and on, so far he did not stopped that, just 'ordered'
( thai chiefs are expert in ordering, than nothing happens. their subordinates not respect them, file the order, and that is it)

By smiling on a 'safari ph...

Nasa123 | 29 May 2016 - 19:22:49

This peplos NOW from the Boat Company what or not, What THEY du on the ‹island for the past 10 years ++ 

Nasa12 | 29 May 2016 - 18:13:04

All money be paid in China Companya before the trip, if you not go you lose the money. And if you don`t pay match in the (ONLY) China  place they must pay the fly ticket home self.The same in Phuket.

Kurt | 29 May 2016 - 16:42:45

Thinking about option.
A 3rd option was not paying bail, than the Chinese man was put in Thai detention until Court would judge.
Wonder or Chinese Government accept to see a Chinese national behind thai bars on Phuket for giving bread to the fishes. Bread provided by a thai tourguide.
I don't think so.

We missed now a 'thai loose face opera', conducted by Chinese Government.

Nasa12 | 29 May 2016 - 16:09:56

Rorill@ Orginal ORGINAL WHAN ? bla bla bla what the Australian tell you if you coming lika a tourist : Never feed bread, cooked seafood and processed food to fish; you must use raw fish or prawns or approved fish pellets. Avoid imported products to minimise the risk of introducing disease. Look for pellets that contain the least phosphate.

jogi | 29 May 2016 - 15:23:54

and this chinese-tourist will have two options. he wait here for ever to get the case to court, and wait for ever to get his 100'000 baht bail-money back.second option. he buy a ticket to china (most likely his return-ticket had expired by then) and return to china with official permission from Thai-authority and bail-money magically turn in to tea-money

Rorii | 29 May 2016 - 11:35:35

Nasa12, you seem to "lost the plot" my comment was to your original one, in which you made NO reference to any food, except bread, you seem to be an angry person, best you keep away from people. In your more recent posts, you simple copy from the article I linked to, it a pity that you also missed that these are "recommendations", quote "Responsible Reef Practices"......

Nasa12 | 29 May 2016 - 07:41:44

Rorii@ Do not hand feed fish.
Never feed bread, cooked seafood and processed food to fish; you must use raw fish or prawns or approved fish pellets.This you send to me Rorii on the link.

Nasa12 | 28 May 2016 - 16:07:05

Rorii@ Can you not read? you se what you send to me: Never feed bread, cooked seafood and processed food to fish; you must use raw fish or prawns or approved fish pellets.Any problem now Rorii?

Nasa12 | 28 May 2016 - 15:33:02

Rorii@Responsible Reef Practices

Consider using alternative activities rather than fish feeding, such as guided fish identification activities from glass-bottom boats, submersible vessels, underwater observatories, or snorkel tours.
Do not feed fish in areas where fishing occurs.
Vary between multiple fish feeding stations to reduce changes to the natural behaviour of the fish at your site.

Kurt | 28 May 2016 - 13:12:23

Seen by myself: 
Sometimes I get overseas friends visiting me, some of them like to make a day trip to one of the 'remote' islands around Phuket.
Not always, but sometimes I join. 
Than I notice boat staff and tour guides bringing on board containers with old bread collected from 24 hour shops. 
This bread is than sold to the tourists, or given for free ( tip expected).

Time that th...

Rorii | 28 May 2016 - 07:15:46

NASA12, this makes good reading, especially considering your comment.

Rorii | 28 May 2016 - 07:06:08

Richard, unlike some other comments, who blame tourists, you are 100% correct, if tourists are NOT informed, then it is 100% the guide's, or the company they work for, fault, but as this is corruptionland, oops Thailand, then it will be the tourist held responsible, after all, that is where the money is.

One other thought, does this prohibit fishing, using bait (food) to attract fish to you...

Richard Vickers | 28 May 2016 - 00:05:36

The moronic shenanigans by these Thai "officials" just keep getting better all the time.  This should have been 100% the fault of the tour guide and company.  There would be no way that a Chinese tourist would know about this law...but all Thai guides and the companies that employ them should be well aware of it...and if they aren't, they should not be licensed to do tours... but lic...

Nasa12 | 27 May 2016 - 19:32:41

Andy@ 110% right, but bread are not fish food, maybe for a shark but not for this here in Phuket.
Try to give food like bread or +++ in Great Barrier Reef in Australia and se what happened to you if Police or security se you, or the Captain on the boat.

yvonne | 27 May 2016 - 17:46:24

Yes Jome, so true. High time to get tough with the THAIS involved and not just the Tourists. How much was the Guide finedand the Tour Company that provided the Guide? ALL three parties involved were guilty. NOT just the Chinese Tourists. How many Tour Boat operators ( speed boats) that have caused accidents and deaths of Tourists have been fined 100,000 baht and if there are deaths PLUS JAIL and t...

Jome | 27 May 2016 - 16:34:08

so when will the first local beach restaurant owner be arrested for feeding fish with raw sewage released into the sea and damaging natural resources.....????

yvonne | 27 May 2016 - 16:28:11

Foreigners must obey the Rules and Laws in Thailand! Thai Operators and GUIDES  must also be held RESPONSIBLE and FORCED to hand out pamphlets or INFORM each Tourists they are accompanying to the Rules of the sites they would be visiting BEFORE they proceed to travel there. Start fining those that disobey the RED FLAGS on beaches as well AND those tanning topless.Rules must be enforced. No tourist...

Andy | 27 May 2016 - 14:05:27

A tourist arrested for feeding fish and B100,000 bail! Only in Thailand.
At Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nai the tour boats do use anchors but there have been new moorings placed.
At Koh Khai Nui private boats use moorings and people go ashore to the restaurant by dinghy. No harm is done here by the restaurant or its visitors. The harm is again tour boats anchoring in the coral on the west side. Mo...

simon01 | 27 May 2016 - 13:42:14

Good as this will I hope stop all other guides from feeding the fish and standing on the coral. So many guides do it and if they are all are arrested with 100,000 bail then that I hope will stop it. The reefs are in a bad way and need protection or in a couple of years there will be nothing left. They will take years to get over the damage caused but in time they will recover. sad for the tourist ...

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