The campaign was presided over by Vice Admiral Cherngchai Chomcherngpat of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command who was joined by vice Governor Pichet Panapong and additional relevant officers, representatives from the private sector, and local fishermen.
Vice Admiral Cherngchai explained that the cleaning campaign was named “Lang Lue Lang Tha Ruam Kha COVID-19” (“Together clean boats and port to kill COVID-19”) and was established to provide the necessary confidence for fishermen to use the port.
“Phuket has huge potential for fishing, as we have 17 quality ports and 352 fishing boats,” V/Adm Cherngchai said.
“We have a total of 2,948 people working in fishing, including 1,084 Thai nationals and 1,864 migrant workers from our neighboring countries such as Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia.
“For the whole last year, our fishermen netted about 102,160 tonnes, valued at about B5 billion. The number of fish caught amounted to about 8.51% of the total fish caught nationwide,” he added.
“During the pandemic, the industry least affected is fishing. We never found people in the south working in this business field infected with the virus, especially in Phuket.
V/Adm Cherngchai highlighted the fine work that the Marine Department and other relevant officers have done in constantly reminding people to follow the necessary disease control measures and explained that additional safety measures are in place at ports to check fishermen as well as customers who visit the ports to buy fish directly.
“Today’s cleaning campaign is mainly to create trust among local people and business operators who have to contact fishermen or usually come to the ports,” he said.
“We can confirm that fish and other marine life caught in Phuket waters are safe and adhere to international standards.
“Customers can be confident that our fish is 100% safe.”