Connect with us

Phuket

Coral poachers pounce on Phi Phi, south of Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Residents and tourists must immediately report any signs of coral poaching to officials, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 5 Chief Tanet Munnoy told the Phuket Gazette on Saturday.

“Quick action is necessary to clamp down on corals being stolen from marine national parks, because the criminals behind the work move rapidly,” Mr Tanet said. “They have to be fast if the corals are to be taken from the sea and delivered to the mainland.”

The department’s call for help in cracking down on the marine pilfering came after Andrew Hewett, the owner and manager of The Adventure Club on Phi Phi, posted photographs on Facebook of corals collected in baskets that were left underwater.

In the two baskets found at Hin Moskito, within the Phi Phi marine national park, were species of acropora, tubestrea and soft corals suspected of being gathered to be sold to private aquarium owners.

“This is the first time that I have seen corals in a basket that were not collected for research purposes. Generally, coral harvesting is not an apparent problem at most of the Phi Phi islands, although I believe it may be a problem for corals at this location, since divers or snorkellers never use this site,” Mr Hewett told the Gazette.

“Without a physical presence [such as national park rangers] to monitor activities such as this, and to administer penalties, coral reefs will deteriorate beyond the point of self recuperation.”

Mr Tanet concurred that coral poaching was an issue.

“I can’t deny that there are still people illegally collecting corals in the national parks. However, people shouldn’t be mistaken and think that we are ignoring this problem,” Mr Tanet said. “We have our officers, as well as local networks, who help us remain vigilant. Nonetheless, we could use everyone’s help – the more eyes we have, the harder it will be for them to hide.”

Those witnessing coral poaching are asked to contact Mr Tanet directly on his mobile at 076 393-566.

The poaching, however, is only the tip of the pinnacle of problems plaguing Phi Phi archipelago’s shallow-water reefs, said Mr Hewett.

“Phi Phi islands are subject to high [volume] boat traffic coming from the mainland, and speedboats only use anchors as a form of mooring, [even when a mooring buoy is available],” Mr Hewett said.

“If one speedboat drops its anchor five times in one trip, how long will 100 speedboats a day take to completely destroy the shallow water corals around the Phi Phi islands?”

— Natthaphol Wittayarungrote

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Eastern Thailand8 hours ago

German man believed to have monkeypox briefly fled police

Thailand9 hours ago

New app to help migrant women in Thailand facing abuse

Cambodia10 hours ago

Nigerian man recovers from monkeypox, handed to Cambodian authorities

Sponsored2 days ago

The return of the most important coffee event in Thailand

World10 hours ago

Unusually heavy floods in Pakistan kill 549, thousands of homes damaged

Thailand11 hours ago

How to get the Thailand Elite Visa?

Transport11 hours ago

BTS is offering a free ride… with your mom

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok12 hours ago

Fire at Energy Ministry’s compound in Bangkok

Phuket13 hours ago

2 meth busts in Phuket this past week

Politics13 hours ago

NIDA Poll: PM Prayut should not extend term after August 24

Chon Buri14 hours ago

Mountain Pub fire: 15 victims dead, owner arrested, club uninsured

Chon Buri15 hours ago

Police transferred, safety measures enacted in wake of Mountain B fire

Bangkok15 hours ago

Bangkok taxi driver who snapped himself raping teen gets jailed

Video16 hours ago

Building a $100mil business in Thailand feat. Michael Kenner | Thaiger Podcast Ep. 1

Tourism16 hours ago

Major jump in Thailand Airbnb searches

Economy17 hours ago

Thailand’s hotels are short on workers

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending