Phuket fisheries chief defends blacktip shark fishing, “not illegal”
PHUKET: Watcharin Rattanachoo, head of the Phuket Fisheries Bureau, reiterated his explanation that fishing for black tip sharks in areas not protected by law is not illegal.
The call follows photos of a line of blacktip sharks at the Phuket fishing port circulating on social media overnight.
Mr. Watcharin has already confirmed to Phuket News yesterday that fishing for blacktip sharks in unprotected areas, although little appreciated by many people, is not illegal.
His repeated call for understanding among the public today follows photos of black tip sharks in baskets at the Phuket fishing port, posted on the Facebook page of the notorious Thai marine conservation advocate and animal rights leader. sailors, Professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Deputy Dean of Special Affairs. at the Faculty of Fisheries of the University of Kasetsart.
There is currently no law that says it is an offense to fish and distribute blacktip sharks if regulated fishing gear is used, Watcharin said.
He also explained that black tip sharks are often caught accidentally.
“When the small fishing boats [under 10 tonnes gross] aim to catch groupers and other local fish, some black tip sharks tend to get caught sometimes when they come to feed and congregate around the rocks on the shore, ”Watcharin said.
” Depending on the weather [of the year] sharks move around the fishermen’s fishing area. This is usual during the rainy season from around January to early June, ”he added.
“Therefore, based on the above information, it is not considered a violation of the law if fishing in the area is not prohibited and the correct equipment is used,” Watcharin said. .
Mr. Watcharin highlighted efforts by the Phuket Fisheries Offices in the past to prevent fishing in protected areas and illegal fishing of specific species, especially whale sharks.
“But in news such as the black tip shark, the law does not make it an offense. We must also be fair to the fishermen,” he said.