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Something fishy going on at Phuket docks



PHUKET: Tired and angry over the stench and pollution causing serious health problems and driving away business from a local shipyard, a group of dockside residents in Rassada yesterday morning filed a complaint against a Phuket fish-meal factory.

The group of about 20, all from a small community along the banks of Klong Tha Jeen in Rassada Village 7, gathered at the Damrongtham Center at Phuket Provincial Hall to file the complaint against the Saeng Aroon Company, which operates the plant off Tha Reua Mai Road.

They were led by Mrs Pongjit Getrat, who handed the formal complaint to Damrongtham Center Director Prapan Kanprasang.

The complaint states that the community is suffering hardship from the stench of rotten fish as well as particulate matter spewing from its smokestack.

In addition to causing headaches, nausea and skin rashes, the emissions from the plant were also affecting business at a nearby shipyard that employs several community members, the complaint read.

The emissions leave yellow stains on the canvas sails and fiberglass decks they land on. These are difficult to remove using even the strongest industrial cleaners, the villagers said.

This was driving business away from the boatyard, which often works on vessels owned by foreigners who often complain about the plant.

The problem has existed for a long time and continues to worsen, indicating that the factory is not operating to proper industrial standards in terms of pollution control, said Ms Getrat.

Mr Prapan accepted the complaint, promising to investigate impartially and get back to the community members with their findings.

— Warisa Temram


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