THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

DMCR to prosecute Phuket tour company

PHUKET: The Department Of Marine And Coastal Resources (DMCR) yesterday (Mar 16) started the ball rolling for prosecuting a tour company whose guide was caught on camera allegedly breaking off pieces off coral and using it to smash a sea urchin while diving with a group of Chinese tourists on Wednesday (Mar 15).

crimemarineanimalsChinesenatural-resourcesenvironmenttourism
By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 17 March 2017, 05:22PM


The DMCR were made aware of the incident from a post on the Facebook page of Asst Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biology lecturer at Kasetsart University in Bangkok and a marine conservation adviser to the government.

Asst Prof Thon’s Facebook page is currently followed by just under 81,000 users.

On Wednesday, Asst Prof Thon posted photos which are believed to show a tour guide breaking off a piece of coral from a reef and using it to smash a sea urchin. This was all done while a tour group he was leading took photographs.

In addition, the photos also revealed that the guide allowed the tourists to rest themselves on the coral and push themselves to the surface of the sea using the coral reef.

Furthermore, the Scuba BCD (Buoyancy Compensator Devices) the tourists are seen wearing in the photo are believed to be very old and may not work as well as they should.

On a notice published on the DMCR website yesterday regarding the incident it states that the tour guide was from the Nonthasak Marine tour company and officials were in the process of going to question him about his actions.

Speaking to broadcaster Thai PBS yesterday, DMCR Director-General Ms Suthilak Rawiwan said, “We are fully aware of this incident and can confirm that it is against the Protected Wildlife Act. Our officials have all the required information and evidence we need to prosecute those involved.

“The area where this incident occurred, Koh Hae (Coral Island ), has already been badly affected by tourism and it is now getting worse.

QSI International School Phuket

“In fact, the problems at Koh Hae are now at a critical level,” she said.

“The DMCR now has a plan to use the Marine and Coastal Resources Management Promotion Act, B.E. 2558 to control tourism in the area and reduce any further risk of damage to the marine environment,” she added.

When questioned about the incident by a The Phuket News reporter today, the manager of Nonthasak Marine, Mr Karn Therdmaefaluang, said, “I was very surprised when I learned about this incident from other media.

“However, I would like to say that this diver is freelance and he is still young. He has told me that he is very upset by this incident,” he said.

“The truth is that the guide didn’t break the sea urchin at all. He told me that he saw the sea urchin and picked it up but it was already broken. He said that he picked up a small piece of coral to check the urchin and to show the tourists that it is dangerous to touch them.

“As he was showing all this to the tourists someone else took photos of him and this has caused a lot of misunderstanding,” he added.

“Nonthasak Marine hold a seminar every month to remind our guides about marine conservative because it is important for their jobs. Our guides have no reason to destroy marine animals or the marine environment. Yesterday I told the truth to DMCR officials,” he concluded.  

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

marcher | 20 March 2017 - 18:55:51

Kurt, I agree with what you say. I Was being sarcastic!

CaptainJack69 | 18 March 2017 - 12:45:32

"It was already broken". He's channeling Bart Simpsons there isn't he "I didn't do it. It was like that when I found it". Also he's lying, urchins don't self-destruct and nothing eats them, they're covered in spikes. Also he was filmed doing it. Doh!

"Our guides have no reason to destroy marine animals", not true. Unscrupulous di...

Kurt | 18 March 2017 - 12:10:42

@ Marcher: There are 2 legs of law enforcement in Thailand, 1 leg for the thai, 1 leg for the foreigner.
As a foreigner feeding bread to fish, oh boy, you go some days to a police cell, 100,000 thb bail requested and a full blown Court session! 
As a thai tour guide, destroying marine life, you get away with.."understanding"..

Well,....This are just facts.

Timothy | 18 March 2017 - 08:29:53

No nights in jail, court. Oh, he was young, Thai, and this was a misunderstanding! 

BenPendejo | 18 March 2017 - 00:37:05

Me thinks Mr Therdmaefaluang is a liar, and being true to local procedures, when your company gets caught doing something illegal, senseless and damaging, you try and chalk it up as "a misunderstanding".  That broken sea urchin looks pretty fresh to me.  We will all be watching to see what kind of foolish fine gets levied. I'll guess it to be less than it was for the notoriously hein...

marcher | 17 March 2017 - 19:57:08

I think rather more serious than the Russian woman feeding the fish

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phoenix finally risen from seabed

I wonder if anyone will learn from this: thai company with basic equipment = failure. Foreign compan...(Read More)


Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Gen Angkoon seems to think that Thais have harder heads or something as he says they're likely t...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Ban them kratongs everywhere! They cause environmental damage both on land and in the sea....(Read More)


Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Same coloured helmets, that will make revenue collection easier... but hey, think about hygiene, who...(Read More)


No passport required: Phuket Immigration confirms ‘passport on person’ not required despite ’Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner’

There has never been any law in Thailand that says anyone needs to carry their passport. There IS a ...(Read More)


God is a DJ - A divine event at Dream Beach Club

I would never go into that place, a monstrosity of a building and blight on the beautiful Layan beac...(Read More)


Phuket van driver falls asleep at the wheel, slams into street lamp

I would also add that the Filipina was immediately drug and alcohol tested, her picture included in ...(Read More)


Thais arrested for charging ‘access fees’ to Freedom Beach

Paully, if stupid people want to pay 200B to enter a beach, that's their problem. Nothing wrong ...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office urges water safety for Loy Krathong

Marine boat operators, don't worry, just hold your breath during 22 Nov only. '''Cap...(Read More)


Phuket officials unveil New Year ‘Seven Days’ road safety campaign strategy

Haha, the 2 times a year safety campaign as like people don't know to drive safe and sober! Str...(Read More)