In relation to the video of a whale shark caught up on a fishing boat net just off Koh Racha yesterday, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong says, “Officials from the Phuket Fisheries Port In-Port Out Control Centre (PiPo) have filed a report to the Phuket City Police. The owner of the fishing boat is being accused of an offence to the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries in Section 66 and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Announcement.”
“The Royal Ordinance on Fisheries in Section 66 states that no person shall catch aquatic mammals, rare aquatic animals or aquatic animals near extinction as prescribed by the Minister or take any such aquatic animal on board a fishing vessel, except where it is necessary to do so in order to save the life thereof.”
“Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives announcement states that whale shark, which is one of the aquatic mammals listed as near extinction, must not be fished or caught or brought onto a boat.”
“We have publicised to tour operators to stay away from whale sharks and not to touch them.”
Chief of the Phuket Fisheries Office Kowit Kaoiean says that they believe that the whale shark is still alive as no report of any dead whale shark found floating (which is contrary to the original report from Go Eco Phuket).
COMMENT: From the video the whale shark looked very dead indeed.