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World-renowned reefs, fish destroyed by dynamite

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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World-renowned reefs, fish destroyed by dynamite | The Thaiger
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KRABI: The diving community along the Andaman coast is in an uproar after fishermen used dynamite to blast fish around the famed coral reefs at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, destroying both the reefs and the marine life around them. Both sites are underwater mountains in Koh Lanta National Park. Hin Daeng, which has a peak that pokes above the surface at low tide, was well known for its red-colored coral. Hin Muang was renowned for its purple coral. Patrick Catellani, the manager of Kon-Tiki Diving & Snorkeling Center, told the Gazette, “Every time for the past two weeks, our boats have come back with reports of boats fishing illegally in protected areas, using dynamite. Hin Daeng and Hin Muang have been destroyed by bombing. There are no fish left alive. And the coral is completely gone.” Yann Guillet, a divemaster with Kon-Tiki, discovered some bombs that didn’t detonate. “I found some packages of dynamite that didn’t blow up. We pulled them out of the water and found that three of them had dynamite inside. “Our captain radioed the Marine Police and told them what we’d found, but since then nothing has happened,” he added. Prasit Phuchatwanitkul, Koh Lanta’s District Chief, told the Gazette, “We have contacted the Chief of Koh Lanta National Park and asked him to hurry up and find the people responsible for the bombing. “I’ve asked tourists and dive operators to help by keeping an eye on the area because there aren’t enough officers at the national park, and Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are very far away [from the mainland].” Both sites are about 40 kilometers from Koh Lanta, where the national park officers are stationed. “We don’t have enough men to tackle this by ourselves, but we have asked the navy for help and this [incident] has already been reported to the Royal Forestry Department and the Department of Fisheries,” he said. K. Prasit added that the perpetrators are believed to be one of two groups: the first is from outside Krabi, while the other is a group of local fishermen. “So far we don’t know who exactly did it or why,” he said. “I think they wanted to get the fish to sell, but by using bombs they have destroyed all the fish and all the coral as well.” Subin Chayaburakul, Chairman of the Krabi Tourism Association, said, “The bombings at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang have greatly affected Krabi’s tourism. These were the most beautiful diving spots in the world. “National park officers should pay more attention to protecting our environment. We want to present a beautiful, quiet environment to our visitors.”

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger

Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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