Blacktip sharks to get protected status

Blacktip sharks to get protected status

A TikTok image shows three blacktip reef sharks killed by men in Krabi. Alonggon Chonlaty
A TikTok image shows three blacktip reef sharks killed by men in Krabi. Alonggon Chonlaty

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is planning to list blacktip reef sharks as a protected marine species, after a TikTok clip of five men using a firearm to kill the sharks in Krabi came to light on Monday.

The incident took place outside of the protected environmental zone, about 96 kilometres from Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. The video clip showed a group of five men shooting at three blacktip reef sharks and two trevallies, before hauling them aboard a speedboat named Ding Lor Zing.

Even though the sharks were not yet listed as a protected species, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa slammed the group's behaviour, calling it an act of gratuitous violence.

"I've already instructed Jatuporn Burutphat, permanent secretary for environment, to work with all relevant agencies to review our policies to better protect our marine resources. Agencies in the areas have also been instructed to beef up surveillance and better educate local residents," Mr Varawut said.

Sopon Thongdee, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, said the department will be reviewing its list of protected animals and will register blacktip reef sharks as protected marine species.

"These sharks pose no threat to humans," he said.

He has instructed Marine and Coastal Resources Office 10 to file a complaint with Muang Krabi police against the men featured in the video for using a boat without permission, which is punishable by a 10,000-baht fine.

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