Dolphin 'catch' vid sparks ire

Dolphin 'catch' vid sparks ire

An initial investigation by the Port-in Port-out (Pipo) control centre in Pattani has found that a widely shared online video showing many dolphins caught in a net set by fishermen for tuna came from a Malaysian boat.

The five-minute-long clip posted online yesterday by popular news anchor Anuwat Fuangthongdeng included the voice of a Thai-speaking man ordering his crew to lift some dolphins out of the sea and load them aboard their boat.

The clip enraged netizens and garnered interest from a marine scientist and the incoming natural resources and environment minister, prompting Pipo in Pattani under the Fisheries Department to launch an investigation.

Pipo in Pattani said yesterday in a statement that the video showed the fishing boat Sor Pornthep Nawee 9, which a Thai owner had sold to a Malaysian on June 29, 2017, for operation in Malaysian waters.

A source from the National Fisheries Association of Thailand said that the captain of the trawler is Thai.

"I don't understand why the captain and his crew caught such a large amount of dolphins given the fact that they cannot be sold in general markets," the source said.

Marine scientist Thon Thamrongnawasawat also shared the clip and wrote that it broke his heart to see a pod of dolphins caught in a net set for long-tail tuna.

Natural resources and environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, who will be sworn in today, said he had seen the video clip.

"The dolphins may have been trapped when they followed the boat and tried to eat tuna caught in the net," he said.

Officials should to take action against those responsible, he said.

Social media posters strongly condemned the fishermen for allowing the dolphins to be caught in their net.

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