Marine Conservation and Local Laws to Protect Living Reefs.
Not so long ago a tourist visiting Phuket on a snorkeling Tour to Phi Phi islands was arrested for feeding fish in a protected area at Koh Khai Nok. The incident occurred just days after the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) announced a crackdown on environmental laws for better protection of marine natural resources and recovery of coral bleaching around Phi Phi and Phuket.
The Phuket Provincial Court originally handed down a fine of B2,000 baht, but then the Judge reduced it to a fine of B1,000 baht, following the Tourist pleaded guilty to the charge of feeding fish in a protected area.
The Judge stated “The maximum penalty for behaviour that damages the environment is up to one year in prison, a fine of up to B100,000 or both”.
The Bureau of Tourism Business and Tour Guide Registration issues businesses licences for all businesses operating in the Tourism industry of Thailand, as well as allocate Licenses for all tour guides operating in Phuket.
All boat Tour Guides brief all Tourist on Boat safety as well as on the point of Thai Laws on feeding fish, steps they should take to warn Tourists not to damage or collect Coral. The Bureau of Tourism also has the power to revoke any such “Tourism business license” and tour guide licences, so please don’t feed the fish!