Connect with us

Phuket

Tour company pulls down Phuket “marine life abuse’ video

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Intense public criticism has forced a Bangkok tour company to remove a video showing sea-walking tourists handling marine creatures at Coral Island, off Phuket’s southeastern coast, from its Facebook page.

Gift Box Travel, which sells package tours to Phuket, posted the controversial video on its Facebook page (click here) last Friday.

The video showed tourists on a sea-walking tour handling corals and other marine life, and hand-feeding fish entire loaves of bread.

Following days of intense criticism, including accusations that the video promoted ‘marine animal abuse’, the video was removed yesterday.

Gift Box Travel posted a statement on its Facebook page denying that it was a sea-walking company.

“We are just a normal tour company. The video clip was taken by staff during a familiarization trip to Phuket on May 1-5 last year. We bought a tour package, which included the sea walking at Coral Island.

“We apologize for posting this kind of inappropriate video. We did not anticipate such a public reaction to this, and we will not support this kind of activity.”

Regardless, Tanet Munnoy, the chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 5 office in Phuket, will meet with Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong within the coming week to discuss the issue, the Phuket Gazette was told today.

“They will meet with representatives from other agencies to see to what extent can they take action on this,” said Ukkrit Satapoomi, director of the DMRC’s Phuket Marine Biological Center.

Mr Ukkrit explained that he was not against sea walking, but not at the expense of interfering with marine life.

“Sea walking is fine if it does not affect marine life and is carried out at an appropriate place,” he told Gazette this afternoon.

However, Mr Ukkrit said that he would call for officials to inspect sea-walking operations at Coral Island to ensure that marine life there is not directly affected.

“If it does do harm, then they will have to move their operations to another place,” he said.

Mr Ukkrit added that he would prefer representatives from a broad cross-section of interests participate in the upcoming discussions.

“I think officials from the Phuket Marine Office, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Fisheries Department and other relevant offices should join the meeting,” he said.

“That way we can at least learn why those businesses [at Coral Island] have been allowed to remain there for so many years.”

Santi Pawai, director of Ministry of Tourism and Sport (MOTS) Phuket office, welcomed the upcoming discussions.

Mr Santi went on record earlier this year saying that he saw no issue with tourists hand-feeding fish “small amounts of bread”, when he inspected a sea-walking tour at Coral Island in January (story here).

“From a tourism point of view, as long as tourists do not interfere with corals, I see no harm with sea-walking,” he told the Gazette today.

“But I think it is good idea to have a meeting so officers from relevant agencies can suggest their ideas and express their opinions as to whether or not sea walking should be allowed.

“We have to come up with a conclusion soon.”

— Kongleaphy Keam

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

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:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand5 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Drugs5 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand6 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport6 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of7 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism7 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of7 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand7 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket8 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

World9 hours ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending