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Disgusted by state of Thailand’s seas, minister orders agencies to take immediate action

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Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has instructed related state agencies to take immediate steps to protect marine resources that have been damaged by fishing.

On Friday (September 25), the minister said he had gone diving near Surat Thani’s Koh Tao island and in other places in the country and found trash under the sea as well as other signs of damage.
He said related agencies will have to urgently take steps to protect marine resources in most-affected places such as Ranong’s Koh Phayam as well as look after the coral reefs in Surat Thani, Pattani, Phang Nga and Krabi.
The minister said Thailand initially had close to 149,000 rai of coral reefs, but now only 5.7 per cent of them are alive. The rest have been destroyed by humans.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources recently announced new rules to protect marine resources. According to these rules, people are prohibited from parking their boats near coral reef of Koh Phayam, as well as disposing wastewater or poisonous things into the sea. Fishing near the specified reefs is also prohibited.
Violators will face a fine of up to Bt100,000 and/or a year in prison. These new rules went into effect on Wednesday.

Published : September 25, 2020