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Two trawlers seized, 15 crew arrested

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Two trawlers seized, 15 crew arrested | Thaiger

KARON, PHUKET: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials yesterday morning seized two vessels and arrested 15 crew members caught trawling off Kata Beach.

The seizures and arrests followed reports by members of a local conservation group that the vessels had for a week been seen operating in an area just 300 to 400 meters offshore, near the tiny Koh Poo.

Trawling is restricted in Thai waters within 3,000 meters of land in order to protect spawning areas, coral and other elements of the marine ecosystem vital to a sustainable fishing industry.

The vessels were brought to the Marine and Coastal Resources pier at Laem Panwa, where they were found to be laden with a wide variety of fish and other marine life.

Fifteen crew members, both Thai and Burmese, were handed over to the Chalong Police for processing.

Paitoon Panchaibhumi, chief of the Phuket-based Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Region 5 Office, said his department finds it difficult to comprehensively enforce the 3,000 meter rule, especially when sea conditions are rough.

The department’s patrol boats are small and the radar-equipped trawlers are able to track their movements, quickly ceasing operations and moving outside the exclusion zone when they detect officers coming, he said.

— Nation Channel

 

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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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