New dive rules stand until further notice – Governor

PHUKET: The new regulations affecting Phuket’s dive industry will be adhered to until the rules are reviewed and any changes agreed to, Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura has said.

The Governor affirmed his resolve in seeing the new rules being applied at a meeting with Chatupol Chindapol, President of the Diving Sport Association of the Thai Diving Association (TDA).

K. Chatupol met Governor Udomsak to submit proposed ideas from the local dive operators regarding new dive regulations signed into effect August 25.

According to the new regulations, all dive operators are required to register their businesses with the Phuket Marine Office by September 30, and then to submit monthly reports with extensive details.

K. Chatupol said that the TDA agrees with the department’s environmental conservation goals, but had suggested some changes and that recommended that the regulations should be enforced nationwide.

“Dive operators must submit some private information and some foreign operators do not understand the aim of the regulations. The TDA members requested for the provincial authority to review or revise some of the regulations and – to achieve the main goal of environment conservation – they should be reviewed point-by-point at a meeting of all agencies and businesses involved,” he said.

Governor Udomsak said that the ideas proposed will be reviewed by the committee, and some points might be revised.

“Dive operators have complained that some reports required too much information or were required too often, so the committee will review the regulations and see if they need to be changed. We might change for some reports to be filed every six months, but it depends on the details and the related laws,” he said.

However, he added that the regulations will be enforced as is, and reviewed and any changes made only if “problems occur”.

“Phuket provincial authorities are implementing the regulations as they are supposed to be, and it’s normal that new rules might make some people feel uncomfortable. But if we don’t start, we can’t say what the problems are, and that’s not right,” he added.

Phuket News
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