Fisherman seeks verification of B10m ambergris catch
published : 22 Oct 2019 at 12:35
writer: Supapong Chaolan
SURAT THANI: A local fisherman has asked provincial authorities to help verify if a large, buoyant lump of material he found on an island beach is indeed ambergris and worth about 10 million baht.
Koh Phaluay resident Jamras Thiachote, 55, showed the six-kilogramme lump to Surat Thani governor Wichawut Jinto, who visited the island in Koh Samui district on Tuesday.
The lump looks like a rock or lump of rubber, with gold and brown colouring. It floated when it was placed in a pail filled with water.
Mr Jamras said he came across the lump on a beach on Jan 3 after Storm Pabuk passed over the island. He had no idea what it was and he just left it there. A young relative searched the internet and announced he believed it was ambergris. So he went back to the beach and brought it home.
"When I cut it with a knife, it gave off a fishy smell for a moment," the fisherman said.
Learning of his discovery, three people in the village asked for a 500-gramme slice, claiming they would have it verified if it was ambergris. "I have not heard anything from these three people since," Mr Jamras said.
A park ranger on Koh Phaluay told him it was likely he had found some ambergris, he said. Local observers said if it is ambergris a lump that size would be worth about 10 million baht.
Ambergis is a highly valued waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale and found floating at sea or washed ashore. It is used in perfume.