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Tour boats caught dropping anchors on Phi Phi Island coral reef

PHUKET: The national park chief responsible for Phi Phi Island has ordered officials to investigate footage showing tour boats dropping their anchors onto a coral reef off Laem Thong Beach, on the northern east coast of the island.

tourism, marine, environment, crime, natural-resources,


Shela Riva

Monday 11 September 2017, 04:28PM


 

“I have asked officials to investigate the boats shown in the video and track down those responsible. Thank you for sending us this evidence,” Worapot Lomlim, Chief of the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, told The Phuket News today (Sept 11).

The seven-minute clip, supplied to The Phuket News, shows several speedboats dropping their anchors onto coral reef from within the water near the boats. Some parts of the clip shows groups of tourists snorkelling beside the boats, and shows sections of badly damaged coral.

The clip is dated Sunday, Sept 3.

The names and registration numbers of the boats are plainly seen in the clip.

“Look at the damage to the reef! Sometimes as many as 50 speedboats are here at the same time,” said the maker of the video, who asked not to be named.

“I’ve known this reef for many years and the damage began only when the speedboats started to bring customers there, less than one year ago.

“This is unsustainable. I understand the people must make money from tourists, but there must be a better way than destroying the reefs? Destroying the reefs they have brought tourists to see,” he said.

“Why should the reefs be destroyed for the profit of only a few business owners? What will be their business when there is no more reef?” he added.

Suchart Rattanareangsri, Director of Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Phuket branch’s Conservation Department, gave words of encouragement for people supplying evidence of such incidents.

“There are so many boats dropping their anchors illegally. When people send evidence to us, we can investigate it. Thank you for helping to prevent the destruction of coral reefs,” he said.

“Please inform the responsible agency for the area, to take action,” Mr Suchart said.

“We can clearly see the names of the boats in this particular video. Officials will have information on the boats already, now it’s just a matter of finding the drivers and prosecute them according to law,” he added.

 

 

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Rorri_2 | 13 September 2017 - 06:13:10

It appears one of our fine feathered "friends" is only content to criticise.
Public punishment, definition: Public humiliation is the dishonoring showcase of a person, usually an offender or a prisoner, especially in a public place. It was regularly used as a form of punishment in former times, and is still practiced by different means in the modern era. So the comment, in part, ":"If officials keep talking and not take publicly punish these marine..." is 100% correct, they should be publicly named and shamed, and fined heavily, even lose their licence/s.

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Kurt | 12 September 2017 - 17:48:29

Writing ..'publicly'.. ment in the sense patrolling the coral reefs, bring a journalist to make photos and write a article of the catch + the follow up, like we red about a bread feeding tourist ( 100,000 thb fine)
, or illegal gambling people. 

Of course readers understood the context/meaning of my writing, except one.

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malczx7r | 12 September 2017 - 11:03:10

It always amazes me how someone other than the officials in charge have to report these things, why aren't the officials out looking??  Or maybe the tour boats are providing tea money to the officials too!

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Sir Burr | 12 September 2017 - 08:45:52

What's the likelihood of any of these boats having a marine chart of the area on board?

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Bigaresort | 12 September 2017 - 07:51:20

offcourse they where Thai's just look at the anchor,no chain.

Horst

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Kurt | 11 September 2017 - 21:32:01

Time for real law enforcement. Now! To safe the marine life!

Officials must now realize they loose face as these boat crews just continue to ignore directives of officials and educative explanations of marine life professionals.

It is time for strong measures.
If it is possible to punish a foreign tourist with a 100,000 thb fine for feeding bread to fish, than it must be possible to punish these criminal boat crews also with a 100,000 thb fine, and forbid them any longer to works on these tourist boats.
If officials now keep talking and not take publicly punish these marine environment criminals than there is no hope for the local marine life.

By the way why are the officials not out to check reef locations where tour boats drop damaging anchors now for almost 1 year?
Are officials just sitting on their hands in office waiting to be spoon feeded with evidence? Not patrolling themselves?

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opinioated farange | 11 September 2017 - 17:21:57

If they are Thai will it be 500/1000 baht? As is the usual joke fines.

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