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Fishing boat blockade causes chaos for tourist heading to Koh Lipe

Pak Bara Pier in Koh Lipe
Fishing boat blockade at Pak Bara Pier in Koh Lipe - Nation Thailand

A protest by local fishermen on Wednesday has resulted in the blockade of Pak Bara Pier on Koh Lipe, causing a loss of 10 million baht per day in tourism revenue for Satun province, according to Samart Jaroenrit, president of the Tourist Business Association of Satun.

Over 100 fishermen parked their boats to block the waterway leading to Pak Bara Pier in La-ngu district, in response to the arrest of 24 fishermen for allegedly trespassing in Tarutao National Park. Protestors argue that the national park overlaps with commercial fishing areas, making the arrests unfair.

The Pak Bara Pier is a gateway to tourist islands, including Koh Lipe, Koh Adang, and Koh Ra Wi, as well as Tarutao National Park. Tourists are currently stranded on boats unable to dock at the pier due to the blockade, with some being forced to transfer to speedboats heading to Laem Te Ban Pier, an alternative route to Koh Lipe. Meanwhile, tourists returning from the islands are having to detour to other piers to get to the mainland so they do not miss their flights.

Samart estimated that the protest is costing the local tourism industry 10 million baht per day, citing tour groups who have reported cancellations due to the protest. He urged authorities to resolve the problem quickly, as a prolonged protest would impact tourism on Satun’s islands during the long holiday weekend for Makha Bucha Day on March 4-6.


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