Hunger protest brings help – and a problem

PHUKET TOWN: A hunger strike by a one-armed fisherman protesting at the death of his community’s fish stock has brought help from officers at Phuket Provincial Hall. But the protest also had a downside, with government officials saying that the fish farms, which are in tin mine lagoons near Wat Sean Suk, on the southeast edge of Phuket Town, may be encroaching on public land. One-armed fish farmer Komin Buanoon, 51, did not eat for 24 hours to draw attention to the plight of 10 families whose stock of 2,000 fish, valued at 80,000 baht, was apparently wiped out by pollution. The fisherfolk have been promised fresh stock to replace the dead fish and assistance in finding a pollution-free site to resume their livelihoods. Officers are still trying to trace the cause of the pollution and to determine whether the former tin mine where the pollution occured is public land. Pradap Aphai, Director of the government-funded Damrongtham Center, which handles complaints from the public, said, “The Phuket Fisheries Office may be able to help by providing these people with breeding fish, but they will have to find a new water source first. “We [the government] can’t let individuals or groups use the place permanently. All of the ponds in the Wa Saen Suk community belong to everyone, not just the fish farmers.”

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

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