EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Fingers off whale sharks, biologist says

CHUMPHON: The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) needs to draw up and implement rules to prevent people from disturbing whale sharks sighted in the sea of Chumphon, a marine biologist says.

animalsenvironmenthealthmarineSafetytourism
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 26 April 2018, 09:03AM


Buoys with connecting nets are being put in place to ward off sharks and jellyfish in Hat Sai Noi, in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The nets will be added next month, a move triggered by a shark attack on a Norwegian man on April 15. Photo: Chaiwat Saadyaem

Buoys with connecting nets are being put in place to ward off sharks and jellyfish in Hat Sai Noi, in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. The nets will be added next month, a move triggered by a shark attack on a Norwegian man on April 15. Photo: Chaiwat Saadyaem

Thon Thamrongnawasawat’s call comes as a group of divers were reported to have tried to touch a whale shark while diving around Koh Ran Ped and Koh Ran Kai in Pathiu district last Sunday (Apr 22).

The divers were taken to the spot by a resort owner. When they saw a five-metre long shark they reportedly tried to swim close to the giant fish to take photos.

The resort owner and boat operator reportedly did not try to prevent the divers from getting close. Instead, they encouraged them to do so, telling them the shark was not dangerous and liked having its photograph taken.

Mr Thon, who is also the deputy dean of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries, said it would be naive to consider whale sharks as not being dangerous.

No fish are kind-hearted, he said, adding: “People should not think this.”

People should not swim close to whale sharks, Mr Thon said, adding he himself was once hit by a whale shark’s fin, even though he was not swimming that close to the animal.

According to Mr Thon, other countries where whale sharks can be spotted in their seas have clear regulations on how to observe them.

In the Philippines, divers must neither touch nor swim in front of whale sharks, he said, adding tourists are prohibited from feeding them, too.

QSI International School Phuket

Divers must stay five or six metres away for safety while boats should keep a distance of 20-30m, Mr Thon said.

Divers are also told not to apply sunblock before jumping in the water as the chemicals can harm whale sharks, he said.

Mr Thon chairs a panel taking care of rare marine animals under a National Policy and Planning Committee for Marine and Coastal Resources Management. It is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

He said he would ask DMCR director-general Jatuporn Buruspat to map out regulations on how people can watch whale sharks in Thailand at the committee tomorrow (Apr 27).

“If there are no rules and people keep swimming up close and try to touch them, they could easily search for a new habitat,” Mr Thon said.

Mr Jatuporn said he was aware of last Sunday’s incident and agreed rules were needed for thrill seekers wanting to swim with the world’s largest fish.

Read original story here.

 

 

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:

CaptainJack69 | 26 April 2018 - 12:14:19

These creatures used to visit the area regularly. It's only because of the kind of ignorance demonstrated by these people and inherent in society at large that has lead to the dramatic reduction in numbers of Whale Sharks here and world-wide. Not only are they affected by over-fishing and pollution but they themselves are killed by irresponsible fisherman looking to make a quick buck.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
New Phuket Governor announced, starts role Oct 1

I wish the new governor great success in his upcoming difficult position. I would also like him to b...(Read More)


Chinese tourist drowns at Nai Harn

Of course it of utmost importance to state that "red flags were posted" so the blame goes ...(Read More)


Reach of the ancient empire. Were the Greeks or Romans in Phuket or the Peninsula?

I visited Egypt in 87. The statues and paintings did not look like present day Egyptians. When in T...(Read More)


Hope floats to raise the Phoenix

Probably can't swim either. ...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Never look back, never learn

Christy, this is Thailand. The worst punishment would be transferred to an inactive post. I know. Ha...(Read More)


Phoenix tour boat owner to fight charges, renounces confession

The Thai judicial system is under the microscope on this one as it's high profile the police, la...(Read More)


Phoenix tour boat owner to fight charges, renounces confession

It really doesn't matter how much assistance she provided to the survivors. What about the 47 de...(Read More)


Phuket tour boat fire investigation underway

Underway-underway-underway. Do they really not know/realise their own shortcomings in their jobs on ...(Read More)


New Phuket Governor announced, starts role Oct 1

A new Governor, a new Captain on the ship Phuket! Let's hope the change brings something good f...(Read More)


New Phuket Governor announced, starts role Oct 1

According to his CV with a Master in Public Administration (M.P.A.) at the American International Co...(Read More)