Reeling trouble: Illegal fishing devices net controversy in Songkhla

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

Illegal fishing tools continue to cause problems in Songkhla, particularly the use of Pongpang fishing devices in Songkhla Lake. Despite efforts by authorities to enforce the law, the situation remains unresolved as fisherfolk persist in using these prohibited tools.

The Pongpang devices are installed in the navigable channel between Hua Phaya Nak and the new fishing pier in Mueang Songkhla District, comprising 13 rows and 158 slots.

Residents have long been frustrated with the government’s inability to effectively enforce the law against the use of these illegal fishing tools. Even with recent legal attempts to dismantle the Pongpang devices, fisherfolk have protested, leading to continued use of the tools.

Observers from the local community have noted the lack of consistent law enforcement, which contrasts with other provinces in Thailand that have successfully addressed similar issues.

Recently, two individuals previously apprehended for using Pongpang devices returned to install the tools at the same location, right in front of the Songkhla Marine Police Station. This blatant disregard for the law has sparked criticism from locals, who have taken to social media to question the seriousness of the authorities in handling the matter.

The installation of these devices is a time-consuming process involving large, round wooden poles, making it visible to all relevant agencies.

Bunchong Na-sae, an advisor to the Love Thai Sea Association, believes that the Governor of Songkhla has failed to exercise his authority effectively. He argues that the governor should direct district chiefs, village heads, and other local officials to crack down on the use of illegal fishing tools within their jurisdictions.

Instead, the problem has been passed on to the central government and various ministries, despite the governor having the full authority to address the issue, reported KhaoSod.

In response to the lack of action, Somphot Chotchoochuang, a former deputy governor of Krabi, filed a legal complaint under Section 157 for dereliction of duty. The investigation is expected to be concluded by the end of this month, and the case will be forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in Songkhla for further consideration, Bunchong said.

“The governor of Songkhla must use his power and the laws available to him seriously. Passing the problem to the central government only delays the resolution and shows a lack of commitment to solving the issue.”

South Thailand NewsThailand News

Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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