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Cash for sea turtle eggs

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by Pratch Rujivanrom

Cash for spotting sea turtle nests. That’s the promise from national parks officers along the Andaman coast who are offering cash rewards for anyone who discovers sea turtle nests and notifies park officers. The innovative scheme is another attempt to protect the local endangered species from extinction.

Marine National Park Operation Centre 2 in Phuket has announced it will offer a cash reward of up to 20,000 baht to anyone who finds new turtle nests on the beaches of Phuket and Phang Nga in order to ensure that the turtle eggs will not be smuggled and sold in the black market. But, they say, it will also ensure that the rare, newborn sea turtles will have a higher survival rate.

The sea turtle nesting season along the Andaman coast is between November and March each year. The national park authorities have been encouraging people to help the park officers conserve sea turtles by finding turtle nests. People who find leatherback turtle’s nest will be granted a 20,000 baht reward, while the prize for finding the nest of other marine turtle species is 10,000 baht.

Marine National Park Operation Centre 2 also pointed out that those who discover the turtle nests must inform the park officers to safely retrieve the turtle eggs immediately and they must not retrieve the turtle eggs themselves, because not only is it against the law but they say the improper transportation of turtle eggs may hamper the hatching process.

Phang Nga’s Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park chief Mongkol Lieuwiriyakul said the sea turtle conservation measure to reward people who help the park officers identify and safely retrieve turtle eggs is not new. The park has followed this policy for many years, but this nesting season is the first time that the campaign has been widely publicised and such a high reward offered.

Mongkol said the retrieved eggs will be relocated to a safe location and when the eggs are hatched, the park officers will look after the hatchlings until they are strong enough before returning them to the sea in order to increase their survival rate.

“Due to the lack of an advertising campaign, we did not get much collaboration from the public. Giving the people who find the turtle nests just a few thousand baht is not compelling enough, because they can sell turtle eggs in the black market at a far higher price,” he said.

It was also revealed that the price of turtle eggs in the black market was as high as 300 baht per egg.

“This is why this year we decided to increase the financial reward and widely advertised the campaign both in local and social media,” Mongkol added.

People in the coastal areas of Southeast Asia have a long tradition of hunting sea turtles for meat and consuming turtle eggs, as in the past the turtle population was abundant and turtle eggs could be commonly found.

However, this tradition has led to a large drop in the sea-turtle population and critically endangered the survival of many turtle species, especially the leatherback turtle. Authorities have registered all species of sea turtles in Thailand as conserved animals and the poaching or collecting of turtle eggs are now illegal. Even though sea turtles are conserved by law in Thailand, their number has reduced even further.

The Marine National Park Operation Centre 2 disclosed that this year alone, more than 25 sea turtles were found dead on the northern Andaman coast, due to the problems of plastic pollution in the sea, illegal fishing and turtle eggs smuggling.

Mongkol informed that the long and quiet beaches from Thai Mueang Beach in Phang Nga to Mai Khao Beach in Phuket are among the most prominent nesting grounds for sea turtles in Thailand, so many turtle nests could easily be found at these beaches in the past.

But as the number of sea turtles continues to drop, even in the major nesting grounds inside Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park, the turtle nests have become rare. The leatherback turtle’s nest has not been sighted in this park for four years, he said.

Cash for sea turtle eggs | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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