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Phang Nga Marine Police investigate alleged illegal fishing in protected national park area

PHUKET: Phang Nga Marine Police are currently investigating an incident where a tour boat operator allegedly allowed tourist to fish in a protected area of the Koh Similan National Park after photos of the tourists posing with their catches went viral on Social Media.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 4 April 2016, 04:45PM

Lt Col Chakri Maigumponsuth of the Phang Nga Marine Police today (Apr 4) led his team and park officials to look for a tour boat at Tub Lamu Pier which belongs a local tour company in Thai Mueang that allegedly took more than 20 tourist from mainland China and Hong Kong to fish in a protected area of the Similan National Park in Kuraburi.

Lt Col Chakri said, “We went to the pier where we found the boat crew believed to have been involved in the incident. When confronted with pictures of the tourists with their catches the captain admitted that the incident did take place.

“However, they insisted that the fish were caught outside of the protected area. We will need to check the boats AIS geo-location system to see exactly where the tourists were allowed to fish,” he said.

Marine activist, Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat who posted the photos on his Facebook explained that a group of tourist from mainland China and Hong Kong had hired the boat for a dive trip, but they later decided they wanted to fish.

The captain told them that they could not fish in the national park area as it was protected so took them to an area outside the protected area. The boat captain said that he tried to contact the boat owner to ask if it was okay to do so, but the owner was abroad and could not be reached.



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