Senator pushes for action on illegal fishing
PHUKET TOWN: Phuket Senator Paiboon Upatising yesterday lodged an official complaint with Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi about a loophole in the law that allows people to catch certain protected species of fish with impunity. In his complaint, Senator Paiboon said that even though many people are arrested for illegal fishing, they are released because of gaps in the law, or because they have influential connections. While some species of fish are legally protected throughout Thai waters, others are protected only in specified areas. Speaking at a press conference yesterday morning, Gov Pongpayome explained that this allows people caught with area-specific protected species aboard their boats to walk free simply by claiming that the fish were caught outside the specified areas. He added that this then allowed the fish to be exported for sale in markets abroad. The Senator also expressed his concern about the long-term damage illegal fishing has on marine ecosystems. Caring officials, he said, were starting to lose heart. In addition, he officially requested a list of all people arrested on illegal fishing charges and the results of each case. Gov Pongpayome agreed that the matter was an important issue, and said that he will set up a committee to investigate and come up with a solution.
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