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Is cooking endangered rays on ‘MasterChef Thailand’ OK?

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by Pratch Rujivanarom

The cooking of what appeared to be spotted eagle rays during the MasterChef Thailand TV show on World Wildlife Day last night is sparking social media outrage over the appropriateness eating endangered species on mainstream media.

Despite experts confirming that fishing, cooking and eating spotted eagle ray is completely legal in Thailand, as Thai law still does not include the species in the country’s protected animal list, many people say that the use of endangered species as cooking material on the popular TV show jeopardised the efforts to conserve these and other rare animals.

Earlier on World Wildlife Day, which highlights the conservation of marine biodiversity, the reality cooking-competition show “MasterChef Thailand” had selected stingrays as the main ingredient for the program.

But after the show had aired it was noticed that the rays used in the TV show were the rare spotted eagle variety.

The discovery has sparked hot debate on social media over the legality and appropriateness of consuming this endangered marine species, with one side strongly pointing out that the consumption of endangered rays was unacceptable, while the other side argued that such stingrays were not that rare and their consumption was widespread in the Kingdom.

Is cooking endangered rays on ‘MasterChef Thailand’ OK? | News by Thaiger

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a leading marine biologist at Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries, said the exact ray species that had been used on the TV show had not yet been confirmed, but it was very likely the fish were one of two spotted eagle species – Aetobatus ocellatus, which can be found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific region, or Aetobatus narinari, which live in the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), both spotted eagle ray species have conservation status, as they are endangered by unsustainable fishing and habitat loss and their populations are in decline.

Aetobatus ocellatus is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list, while Aetobatus narinari is listed as near-threatened, Thon said.

The marine biologist confirmed that despite the international conservation status of both species, their consumption on the TV show would have been legal, because these ray species were still not protected under Thailand’s animal conservation law.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Active Covid-19 clusters reported in 16 Bangkok districts

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Photo via Facebook/กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์

Bangkok residents living in any of the 16 districts in the capital with active Covid-19 clusters are being advised to strictly follow disease control measures. Spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin made the warning during today’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration briefing.

In the latest wave of Covid-19 infections, more than 28,000 cases have been reported in Bangkok. Taweeslip says there have been 29 clusters. 8 of those outbreaks have been controlled while the other 21 clusters are still active.

Some of the clusters include…

  • Construction workers’ camps in Khlong Toey, Laksi and Watthana
  • Khlong Toey slum communities
  • Huai Khwang market
  • Prisons in the Chatuchak district

The outbreak at a construction site in Laksi is one of the largest clusters with 885 cases reported yesterday and another 1,107 cases were confirmed today.

Active Covid-19 clusters reported in 16 Bangkok districts | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Crime

Man arrested for allegedly exchanging fake US bills for 1.2 million baht

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A man was arrested in Bangkok for allegedly exchanging counterfeit foreign bank notes at a currency exchange kiosk, taking off with 1.2 million baht.

Police say Thanat Amatawimut, a 42 year old building contractor, exchanged 360 fake $100 USD bills for 1.2 million baht at a kiosk in Bangkok back in 2019. The staff accepted the cash, but later realised the bills were fake and attempted to contact Thanat. A complaint was later filed at the Lumpini police station. The Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant last October.

Thanat was arrested in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district yesterday. He denied the charges.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok Covid clusters prompt inoculation goal of 5 million by end of July

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As 28 new Covid-19 clusters hit Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, The Public Health Ministry says it is planning to vaccinate 5 million people by the end of July. The capital yesterday saw the highest number of daily new infections at 1,843 out of the nationwide high of 9,635. The unusually high amount of infections comes after 12 prisons in Thailand were found to be infected with Covid, accounting for 6,853 of the daily new infections.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the CCSA is monitoring the clusters in Bangkok, which are spread out over 19 districts. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has separated the clusters into 4 categories which are comprised of local transmission rates and daily new infections.

The district level clusters include:

Din Daeng

Watthana

Klong Toey

Laksi

Lat Phrao

Ratchathewi

Phra Nakhon

Pomprap Sattruphai

Suan Luang

Pathumwan

Sathon

Samphanthawong

Chatuchak

Bang Rak

Prawet

Wang Thonglang

Ramkhamhaeng

Bangkok Noi

Huai Khwang

Laksi, Din Daeng, and Pomprap Sattruphai districts saw the most amount of clusters as a construction worker camp saw 885 infections. Authorities say there were 11 subcontractors working at the site, with workers being spread out across 8 camps nearby. 6 camps featuring 6,000 residents were told to take Covid precautions, as the entire construction site has been sealed off.

Opas Karnkawinpong, the director-general of the Department of Disease Control, says the DDC will set aside enough vaccines for the BMA to make sure that 70% of the capital’s residents were vaccinated by the end of July. Opas says as soon as AstraZeneca vaccines arrive next month, the mass vaccination drive will start. He says the blueprint for the drive has already been approved by Bangkok’s Covid-19 coordination committee that was set in place by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Today, Thailand is reporting 2,473 new infections and 35 Covid-related deaths. The number of active cases continues to rise. Yesterday the state recorded 35,055 people still under care in hospitals or field hospitals. Most of these people remain asymptomatic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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