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Investigation ordered over the Phuket whale shark caught by fishermen

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Video of a pregnant whale shark caught by fishermen has gone viral and caused outrage on social media.

Read the story and watch the video HERE.

Lt-General Jaruwat Waisaya, Chief of the Office of Legal Affairs and Litigation says, “I have ordered officials to question every person involved in the incident. If they are found guilty, legal action must be taken. We take this very seriously. The whale shark is a protected animal in Thailand and under international law.”

“This is a huge issue as whale sharks are rare animals and an endangered species according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES). The story is quickly going viral worldwide. Officials are clarifying all the people and businesses involved so the issue can be resolved as fast as possible.”

Officials went down to the Sang Kadee Fish Market in Rassada last night (May 18) to check Sang Samut 3 boat. Officials did not find any illegal fish on the fishing boat. All legal documents about the boat were presented and now being checked.

The fishing boat captain, 55 year old Somsamai Meejom says, “Yesterday afternoon a fishing net was brought up onto the boat while we were heading back to the land near Koh Racha (south of Phuket). Boat crews could feel that the fishing net was too heavy. We later realised that a whale shark was accidentally caught up in the net.”

“We tried to free the whale shark from the fishing net but it is about 1 tons and 4-5 metres long. So we decided to hang its tail and used a crane to pull it like as shown in pictures. By doing this we were trying to pull the whale shark back to the sea.”

“We saw that it swim back with no injuries. As I could see, the whale shark was not pregnant.”

“I have been fishing in these seas for about 20 years. I have never sold any whale shark because I know that no one will buy it. We want everyone to understand that we never intended to catch the whale shark as social media has accused us. I know that it is illegal to bring a whale shark on to the boat as it is a revered and protected animal.”

The owner of Sang Samut 3 fishing boat Worasak Wanna says, “After I sew this video in social media, I immediately contacted the boat captain. The captain told me that he did not realise that whale shark was caught in the fishing net until they brought the fishing net up onto the boat. They tried to push the whale shark back to the sea. But they needed to pull it up first, as we can see in the video.”

“I have been fishing for a long time. I always tell my employees that protected animals such as dolphins or any whale sharks must not be caught. These are lucky fish for fishermen and deserve our protection.”

Investigation ordered over the Phuket whale shark caught by fishermen | News by Thaiger Investigation ordered over the Phuket whale shark caught by fishermen | News by Thaiger Investigation ordered over the Phuket whale shark caught by fishermen | News by Thaiger

 

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE Wednesday: 3,394 new infections and 29 deaths

Tim Newton

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Today the public health department has reported 3, 394 new cases and 29 new Covid-related deaths. As usual we will have an update of all the provincial totals this afternoon. 1,498 of today’s cases come from Thailand’s prisons (more below). Taking the shameful inmate toll out of the equation and the trend is still steady with around 2,000 – 2,500 new cases each day over the past 3 weeks across Thailand.

Around the world the trends for new infections and deaths are starting to fall quite quickly.

Covid UPDATE Wednesday: 3,394 new infections and 29 deaths | News by Thaiger

• Roll up, roll up your sleeves. But the Thai PM says… hold on! PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has poured cold water on walk-in vaccination centres for Covid vaccinations. In the past week the public health department has been rushing to set up private vaccination locations around the country to hasten the roll out of vaccines for the first public vaccine category next month.

PM Prayut told a cabinet meeting yesterday he didn’t prefer the idea of the walk-in centres (Central Lad Phrao was already to open as yesterday) because “people would turn up in droves causing chaos”. He was particularly worried about centre around Bangkok where there is a population of 8 million+

The PM has asked that the Mor Prom app is working properly with registrations preferred so the Government can monitor the demand and act accordingly. The government says they’re working on an English, and other languages, version of Mor Prom to open registration for non-Thais soon.

• The Department of Corrections reports that there are now 11,670 prisoners infected with Covid in 13 prisons across Thailand.

• A major Japanese medical association is calling on Tokyo and the International Olympic Committee to cancel the 2020 Tokyo Games. The Games are set to start on July 23.

The appeal, made in a letter to Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga and comes amid concerns that the health-care system in Asia’s second-largest economy cannot accommodate both the potential medical needs of thousands of international athletes, coaches and media while fighting yet another spike in coronavirus infections.

• The Chon Buri (including Pattaya) public health officials announced 39 new and confirmed cases of Covid and 1 more death today. According to The Pattaya News, “officials are asking for the public to remain working from home if possible and especially to avoid small social gatherings with people who are not members of your own household until the situation improves”.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | FRB

 

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Phuket

Phuket sets quarantine requirement for those entering the province, some exempt

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Photo via PR Phuket

A 14-day period in quarantine is required for those entering Phuket who are either not vaccinated against the coronavirus or have not been tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival.

Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong made the announcement yesterday, adding they will no longer require Covid-19 tests on arrival. Phuket News notes that the required tests were problematic, particularly for truck drivers who were delivering essential items to the island on a regular basis.

“If you stay in Phuket shorter than 14 days, then you will be in quarantine as long as you stay on the island… From today on, no rapid tests anymore. Arrivals without any documents must get the quarantine order at the checkpoint.”

Piyapong says staff from the Phuket Public Health Office will hand out quarantine orders to those entering the province. The a copy of the order will be sent to the Emergency Operation Centre, which will follow up with those who are in quarantine at their homes or hotels.

The main Phuket checkpoint will only be open from 8:30am to 8:30pm. Only delivery vehicles can enter outside of those hours.

Those only entering Phuket for a short day trip are exempt from the quarantine rule, according to the Phuket News.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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Pattaya

20 people arrested at Pattaya restaurant for allegedly violating alcohol ban

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Stock photo by Bence Boros for Unsplash

Police in Pattaya arrested 20 people last night at a local restaurant where alcohol was reportedly being sold. While Chon Buri recently eased disease control restrictions, now allowing restaurants in the province to offer dine-in services again, alcohol sales and consumption at restaurants are still prohibited.

Saewana restaurant was raided at around 11pm last night by officers from Pattaya and the Banglamung district station. Alcohol was served in glasses and the bottles were hidden, police say.

Pattaya News says all 20 people at the restaurant were arrested, including the owner. They face charges for allegedly violating the provincial disease control order. Those who violate the Emergency Decree could face a hefty fine or even imprisonment.

A police officer who spoke to a Pattaya News reporter said that there is a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol consumption at restaurants as the policy has been made clear to the public.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

 

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