Dead fishes found by divers near Koh Racha Yai.
Photos: Joe Blasy
Thailand: Phuket mystery: Autopsies yield no results for reef fish deaths
By Chutharat Plerin, 15th October 2014;
Autopsy results of dead fish collected at Koh Racha Yai off the southern coast of Phuket have yielded no clues as to why scores of reef fish are being found dead in the area (story here).
“We have yet to determine the cause of death. Experts conducted autopsies, but the results were inconclusive,” Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) Director Ukkrit Satapoomin told the Phuket Gazette yesterday.
“Also, we checked the water conditions thinking that perhaps an influx of cold, less-oxygenated water transferred with more oxygenated water in the reef areas. However, that was not the case”
The other possibility is humans, Mr Ukkrit said.
“We have contacted people within our network and asked them to keep an eye out for any possible illegal fishing that might have caused the deaths. At this point, however, we do not want to make any unsubstantiated allegations,“ he explained.
“I have also contacted the Phuket Office of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) for additional ideas on what could be done to prevent the deaths from continuing.”
After the reports concerning the dead fish off Koh Racha Yai, reports of dozens of dead fish found along Nai Harn Beach surfaced.
“We cannot do this alone. People must not be afraid to contact us if they are able to document illegal fishing,” said Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 5 Chief Tanet Munnoy.
“I am available 24-7, so call me on my mobile if you witness fishermen fishing in restricted areas or using illegal fishing practices. My number is 081 636-8099.”