Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Fishermen seek an end to their legal woes over national park

Dec 13. 2018
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By THE NATION

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LOCAL FISHERMEN are demanding measures to ease their woes over the legal problems they face when they accidentally drift too close to Tarutao National Park.

By law, fishermen must be at least three nautical miles away from the park’s compound. 

However, established in 1974, Tarutao National Park in Satun province is younger in age than several local fishermen, some of whom find it difficult to strictly comply with this relatively new boundary rule. 

“We were here even before this area was declared a national park. So, don’t just come to gather our opinions. Let’s work on solutions too,” Arun Chuprasit, former president of the Satun Fishermen’s Association, said at a seminar yesterday. 

Senior state officials were also present at the seminar held at the Satun Provincial Hall, where a group of students from the King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI) had arrived to explore solutions to fishing problems at Tarutao National Park. 

Deputy Satun governor Wongsakorn Noonchukhan, who presided over the seminar, reckoned there had been frequent problems between local fishermen and officials when arrests are made.

“State officials have tried to be lenient. They start with warnings. But if the offence is repeated, legal action must be taken in the end,” Wongsakorn said. 

Dr Fahsai Samart, a representative of students in KPI’s certificate course on the promotion of a peaceful society, said her group will design solutions and present them for the government to consider. KPI is a government think tank. 

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