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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protection for shark and manta; Tiger and elephant poaching

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protection for shark and manta; Tiger and elephant poaching | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Five shark species and manta ray to get protection
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: After being killed in unlimited numbers for decades, five shark species and the manta ray have won the protection of the world’s wildlife and plants summit, prompting countries to regulate trade in their products.

Yesterday, the five shark species – including the oceanic white-tip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, and porbeagle shark – and the manta ray were classified under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES.)

The 16th Conference of the Parties (CoP 16) to CITES is being held until March 14 in Bangkok. The proposal to protect the oceanic white-tip shark was submitted by Brazil, Colombia and the US. The proposal to include the scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead and smooth hammerhead sharks was submitted by Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico

A proposal to protect the porbeagle shark, put forward by Brazil, Comoros, Croatia, Denmark and Egypt, won 93 votes, while 39 were against it and eight abstained.

The proposal to save the oceanic white-tip shark got the backing of 92 nations, 42 were against and eight abstained. Three species of hammerhead sharks got the support of 91 nations, 39 were against and eight abstained.

The proposal for manta ray, submitted by Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. Protection for the ceja river stingray has been sought by Colombia, won 96 votes, while 23 against, and 7 abstained.

The meeting also adopted the proposal to list freshwater sawfish in the top protection under the Appendix 1.

A delegate from Japan, which opposed the proposal and asked the meeting to vote in a secret ballot, said the oceanic white-tip shark should not be listed under the CITES’s protection and urged for better regional and local fishery management.

Meanwhile, representatives from Thailand said there was not enough data about the shark population and asked for more scientific evidence before making a conservation decision.

Brazil supported the proposal to list the oceanic white-tip shark in Appendix II, saying the listing would mean sustainable compliance by regional fisheries management organizations.

Scientists estimate that 1.3 million to 2.7 million scalloped and smooth hammerheads and 250,000 to 1.3 million oceanic white-tip sharks are killed annually to meet the demand for shark fins.

According to PEW, Hong Kong alone represents about 50 per cent of global trade. The trade data from the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong estimates that 83 countries exported more than 10.3 million kilograms of shark-fin products to Hong Kong in 2011.

The shark species currently listed on CITES Appendices are the white shark Carcharodon carcharias, whale shark Rhincodon typus and basking shark Cetorhinus maximus, all three listed in Appendix II.

In addition, at CoP14 it was decided to include all species of sawfish (family Pristidae) in Appendix I, with the exception of Pristis microdon, which is included in Appendix II

Thailand is now stepping forward to lobby the world’s wildlife and plant summit to support its efforts to renew the proposal to downgrade protection for the Siamese Crocodile and allow it to be traded, but with controls.

The move came after Thailand last week failed to get support from the representatives of 129 nations to back Thailand to delist the Siamese and saltwater crocodile from Appendix I to Appendix II so the Kingdom can continue exporting crocodile products.

“We will ask the plenary meeting to consider our proposal to downgrade the Siamese Crocodile from Appendix I to Appendix II again. We need 10 more countries to back our proposal and pass a two-thirds majority,” Fishery Department’s director general Wimol Jantrarotai said.

Delegates from the department will inform the conference on Wednesday of its proposals. However, it needs a third of the participants to support Thailand to win support.

“We will tell them that Thailand has no problem with illegal killing and trafficking of the forest crocodile. In fact, we have had only one case of illegal killing and trading in forest crocodiles,” he said.

To date, Thailand has 200 Siamese crocodiles living in national parks, while some 200,000 Siamese and 20,000 saltwater crocs are being bred in 800 crocodile farms.

Crocodile skin, meat and related products earns the country about Bt4 billion a year.

In a related issue, Thailand’s proposal to list the Siamese Rosewood under Appendix II will be considered by the members today.

Mother tusker shot, calf missing
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: An autopsy on a elephant found shot dead in Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi revealed a rifle bullet in her skull and that she recently gave birth, leading authorities to think she was killed so poachers could abduct her calf.

National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation department chief Manopat Huamuangkaew visited the park yesterday and was briefed by park chief Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn. Manopat also visited the scene where the elephant was found.

The autopsy found one rifle bullet and that the elephant had given birth in the past six months. An examination of her teeth determined she was 13 to 15 years old.

Wildlife authorities were collecting more evidence. The elephant’s remains will be burned and sifted in a bid to find bullet fragments.

Chaiwat said he thought the baby elephant may still be in the Kaeng Krachan area and that he ordered forest officials to set up more checkpoints in a bid to catch anyone transporting the stolen calf.

He also asked the Army’s “phraya seu” special task force to block routes to Myanmar.

Provincial Police Region 7 chief Hanpol Nitwibuk called for a meeting of investigators into the case. He said they were checking if officials were involved in the crime.

If so, they would face severe punishment. Police would look into all suspects with links to the illegal wildlife trade.

Assistant national police chief Jaramporn Suramanee and a team of specialists flew by helicopter to the park on Sunday to investigate.

Elephants were shot dead in the park last year, leading to suspicion park officials may be involved.

World Bank urges action against tiger poaching
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: The World Bank is pressing Thailand to tighten its control over illegal poaching and trading in wildlife after finding that the country is a hub of the illicit tiger trade.

“We will ask the Thai prime minister and her government to take serious action against tiger poachers as she seemed interested in this subject, and with her leadership this could be achieved,” Keshav Varma, director of the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative, said yesterday.

A recent study by Traffic and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) showed that Thailand was the most significant location for the interdiction of the live tiger trade, followed by Laos, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“Given the low population estimates for wild tigers in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam combined wit

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Immigration deadline, quarantine update?, arrests averted | October 30

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Thailand News Today | Immigration deadline, quarantine update?, arrests averted | October 30 | The Thaiger

Last day of the week and all the main stories from around Thailand. Thailand News Today, a bit late today but here it is…

Some immigration offices open tomorrow for last minute visa extensions

The latest amnesty is up tomorrow (October 31) and some immigration offices will be open for those who still need sort out their visa extensions.

Those who miss the deadline could face fines for overstay, immigration officials warn. The extensions all go into effect from November 1 and allow a 60 day stay.

Some immigration offices that are typically closed on Saturdays will be open tomorrow for those filing for extensions. Immigration Bureau commissioner Sompong Chingduang says immigration offices on Chaeng Watthana Road in Bangkok and at Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi, just outside Bangkok city, will be open tomorrow from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Check with your local immigration office.

Court rejects bid to arrest activists who led march on German Embassy

A bid to apprehend 5 anti-government activists who led a march to the Germany Embassy on Monday has failed, after a court in Bangkok rejected a police application for arrest warrants.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court has turned down the application for arrest warrants.

The 5 would have faced charges of sedition and other offences. But the court told officials to instead issue a summons, given that the protesters are students who only gathered for a short time and are unlikely to flee.

On Monday, protesters marched to the German Embassy to submit a petition calling on the country’s government to investigate whether Thailand’s Head of State conducted official business while in Germany. Which nicely segues to the next story…

German government does not believe the Thai Monarch broke the law on conducting state affairs

The German government does not believe the Thai Monarch broke the law on conducting state affairs during his time in the German state of Bavaria.

Germany says His Majesty the King has not violated the European country’s ban on conducting foreign politics on German soil where he resides. The government in Berlin briefed lawmakers this week, saying the Thai Monarch is allowed make occasional decisions regarding Thai state affairs, but he cannot continuously conduct business from overseas.

So far, the German government says they do not believe the King Maha Vajiralongkorn “continuously” conducted Thailand state business during his residence in Bavaria.

PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is heading to Phuket on Monday, where he will meet with local business leaders and discuss proposals to help revive the southern island’s devastated tourism sector.

Despite Phuket Models and any number of promises from the Thai tourism sector, Phuket remains in a perilous situation whilst the government keeps its borders closed. Almost 100% of Phuket’s economy is derived directly or indirectly from tourist traffic.

Health officials propose reducing quarantine to 10 days

Health officials are suggesting cutting mandatory quarantine for international arrivals to 10 days. We’ve heard it all before but the idea has risen to the top of the Health Minister’s file again.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the proposal will be submitted to the CCSA for approval. It’s hoped that a reduction in the quarantine period could help revive Thailand’s battered tourism sector. Only a tiny handful of STV tourists have arrived on the the tourist visa over the past month. The health minister said…

”The priority now is to strike a balance between people’s health and the economy. Thailand still has to rely on foreign tourists. Re-opening the country to foreign visitors will help put the economy back on track.”

The Minister didn’t say where all these tourists might come from or speculate when a reduction on the quarantine period might be introduced.

Police arrest woman for allegedly selling fashion dental retainers

Police have arrested a woman for allegedly selling and fitting fashion dental retainers and braces.

Police seized equipment used for making dental casts and retainers found at her home in Ratchaburi and charged the 27 year old with illegally fitting fashion dental retainers.

The woman has allegedly been selling the retainers on a Facebook page under the name since November 2017, targeting mostly teenage students.

In Thailand, braces and retainers are a fashion trend and also seen as a symbol of wealth. The Thaiger suggests that if you want a set of straight teeth, go to an orthodontist.

Floods in NE Thailand as Vietnam mops up after typhoon

Flooding persists in four north eastern provinces, including Nakhon Rachasima as of this morning. All in the wake of the weakening tropical depression that crossed the Vietnamese coast on Wednesday as Typhoon Molave.

‘Molave’ was the most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam in 20 years. The remnants of the tropical depression are now centred over the west of Thailand where it continues to drop plenty of rain.

At least 35 people are dead, 100s injured, and 50+ missing in Vietnam as disaster mitigation authorities are now reaching some of the worst hit areas in central Vietnam.

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Dengue Fever

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests

Caitlin Ashworth

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Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikipedia

Social distancing and lockdown measures may have contributed to a rise in dengue fever in Thailand, according to a recent study funded by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council.

Researchers, which included scientists from the University of Singapore, examined dengue fever cases in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. No impact on the dengue transmission was found in Malaysia or Singapore, but in Thailand, they found that social distancing may lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. They say the largest impact is in Bangkok Researchers say social distancing is expected to lead to 4.32 additional dengue fever cases per 100,000 people in Thailand each month.

Many people in Thailand stayed at home during lockdown measures put in place to control the spread to the coronavirus, but the study found that people in Thailand are typically bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitos at home rather than at work. Some people even travelled back home to their home provinces to be with their families during the lockdown period.

“Although it is possible for dengue infections to occur in workplaces, it was found in one study that 60% of dengue cases live less than 200m apart came from the same transmission chain, revealing that residential areas are a focal point of transmission.”

Reported dengue fever cases in 2019

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by The Thaiger

Reported dengue fever cases in 2020

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by The Thaiger

To read the full study click HERE.

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A man was arrested on animal abuse charges for allegedly catching water monitor lizards, tying them to his motorbike and driving around Prachuap Khri Khan, south of Phetchaburi province.

The man, who is identified as Chaowalit, posted photos on Facebook of lizards tied up to the back of his motorbike. One photo shows a large monitor lizard tied up to the back of the bike, hanging upside-down. Apparently, Chaowalit has been posting photos for about 4 months now on Facebook page on wildlife hunting.

Officials from the Kui Buri National Park were notified about the photos and a team of special unit officers were sent to Chaowalit’s house to arrest him. He was charged with catching and harming protected wildlife as well as violating the Wild Animal Reservation Protection Act. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to 1 million baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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