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VIDEO REPORT: Go Eco Phuket scrambles to remove fishing net at top dive site

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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VIDEO REPORT: Go Eco Phuket scrambles to remove fishing net at top dive site | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Local marine conservation group Go Eco Phuket on Friday launched two dive boats in an emergency procedure to remove a fishing net at one of Phuket’s top dive destinations, Shark Point.

At a Go Eco Phuket meeting last week, in preparation for the group’s annual massive reef and beach cleanup (story here), local dive company Sea Bees revealed video footage of two large fishing nets draped across pinnacle three of the dive site.

Sensing that the net would cause serious, lasting harm to the reef, Go Eco Phuket



organized about 25 dive volunteers from over a dozen dive companies.

“We’ve got to keep places like Shark Point healthy because, as it has been reported in the media, the degradation of Thailand’s coral reefs nationwide is a problem now. We need to hang on to what we’ve got,” Go Eco Phuket organizer Kerry Leach told the Phuket Gazette.

To support the initiative, Similan Queen Diving Center and Sea Bees volunteered their dive boats for the day, providing free air, Nitrox and food for volunteers.

However, to the group’s surprise the amount of netting pulled from the reef was significantly less than what was seen in the video.

Go Eco Phuket organizer Narong Chaimo explained that it was very likely that the fishing boat had returned to reclaim as much of the net as possible due to its value.

Nonetheless, dive teams made a second dive on the site to search for more nets. During their dive, volunteers spotted several fishing traps, said Vince Moy of Kiwidiver.

“The most detrimental part of having fishing cages so close to the reefs is that the reefs are the breeding grounds for the fish. If you don’t leave the breeding grounds intact, the small fish don’t become big fish and there are no more big fish in the sea,” said Mr Moy.

“You’ll find that if the breeding grounds are left alone, the regions around those areas have more plentiful and bigger fish,” Mr Moy explained. “We all have to eat, so it’s just a very difficult balance between feeding mouths and [preserving] nature.”

Some of the debris uncovered by Mr Moy’s team was left in the ocean as an artificial reef.

“It was an old fishing cage that had collapsed in on itself. It was no longer acting as a trap for the fish and the cage had effectively become an artificial reef. It had big oysters on it; it had lots of barnacles; and there was soft coral growing on it. It was actually becoming a house for marine life, so it was better to leave it in the water than take it out,” Mr Moy explained.

Thomas Schray, one of the Sea Bees’ staff members that captured the net on film, was pleased with the final results of the day.

“I’m really glad that it happened so fast… We were all very sad that we found it [the net], because Shark Point is such a wonderful, stunning reef. But the reaction we got from our boss gave us a very good feeling,” Mr Schray said.

Despite having been beaten to the majority of the lost net, Mr Narong and Ms Leach felt that the project was a success.

“It has highlighted the problem. We need to let people know this [fishing in the marine national park] is going on,” Ms Kerry said.

Fishermen need to keep their distance from the reef, she said.

Director of SSI Thailand Al Stewart was also encouraged by the Go Eco Phuket project.

Asked about saving Thailand’s reef systems, Mr Stewart said, “It’s never too late, you can always turn something around.

“We’ve done some irreparable damage for sure. There are some things that are extinct or close to extinction, which will only live in aquariums from now on. But you can always protect what is still there.”

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thai Life

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight

Tim Newton

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Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | The Thaiger

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. But this year authorities are saying ‘only floating Krathongs thanks’. No polystyrene, no steel pins – keep it natural and plant-based please. This year Loy Krathong in Thailand co-incides with the annual Halloween celebrations on October 31.

Authorities are also urging people to choose, or make, their krathongs using natural materials only. The latest craze for “edible” krathongs is also causing problems. Read about that HERE.

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand The name could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar so the exact date of the festival changes every year.

In Phuket, the Provincial Office says fireworks, fire crackers and sky lanterns are prohibited “for people’s safety” (but be assured there will still be a few sky lanterns seen flying off the islands beaches this evening).

 

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

Loy Krathong is celebrated at many of the island’s popular waterways and at many of the beaches. Many hotels also host their own celebrations for their tourist customers. Here are a few of the locations you will be able to launch your own Krathong or buy one on site and watch families and couples launching Krathongs.

Popular locations in Phuket include…

• Saphan Hin Park Lake, Phuket Town

• Suan Luang Park (off Naka Market Road)

• Bang Wad Dam, Kathu

• The recreation lake near Ket Ho Temple in Kathu (The Thaiger ‘local’)

• Tin Mine Museum Lake on the Kathu back road, near BIS International School

• Nai Harn Lake and Nai Harn Beach

• Bang Maruam near the Alan Cooke Cricket Ground in Thalang

• Laguna (the main lake just inside the entrance)

• Just about anywhere along Patong Beach

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.

We would urge people to consider the environment if you’re making your own Krathong or try and select Krathongs that are made from natural products. Many of the ‘commercial’ Krathongs use polystyrene and pins that end up scattered along our waterways and provide a hazard on the island’s beaches when the Krathongs eventually wash ashore and disintegrate.

Same goes for the new fad of bread and “edible” krathongs. Officials say these can be dangerous for the fish and cause long term problems for water catchments.

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

If you’d like to make a krathong, here’s a very quick guide…

If you want the easy way out, you will find hundreds of stalls on the way or near any waterway around the island that is participating in the event. Try and pick ones that appear to be made from natural materials.

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket!

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Phuket

Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

“Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

  1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
  2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
  3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
  4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
  5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

  1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
  2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
  3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
  4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
  5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Phuket

Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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