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Tour boat operator to be prosecuted for tying up to coral reef in Trang

PHOTO: Facebook/อุทยานแห่งชาติหาดเจ้าไหม - Hat Chao Mai National Park

National Park officials are to take legal action against a tour boat company after one of their boats tied up to a coral reef in Trang province in southern Thailand.

The environmental watchdog group Monsoon Garbage posted photos and video of the incident, prompting outrage on social media.

In its Facebook post, the group says the boat’s rope was tied around an underwater coral reef off Koh Kradan, a renowned beauty spot popular with snorkellers. Koh Kradan was awarded the ‘best beach in the world’ status last year in a survey.

“Mooring buoys are available but they just moored the boat on the coral reefs.”

The group then called on the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to take action against the boat operator and to warn other tour boat companies.

Department chief Attapon Charoenchansa says the area where the incident took place is part of Hat Chao Mai National Park and the boat in question was named Libong Travel.

“Officials have compiled all evidence and Hat Chao Mai National Park will take stringent legal action against the wrongdoer, in line with the 2019 National Parks Act. Besides a fine, they could face a ban from entering the area.”

He adds that park officials will meet with all tour boat owners operating in Hat Chao Mai National Park to ensure they refrain from any actions that risk damaging the natural environment.

Those found guilty of violating the 2019 act can face a fine of up to 500,000 baht and/or a prison term of up to 5 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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