Rayong fishermen blame fish kill on July oil spill

Friday, 23 August 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 34 By  Patcharapol Panrak

A mass fish die-off at Mae Rampung Beach has incited worries in Rayong that last month’s Maptaput-area oil spill may be dong more damage than feared.

Rayong Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit inspected the scene of the fish kill Aug. 16 with local government officials and Jaturas Iemwornirand, president of the Small Fishermen’s Association.

Officials at Mae Rampung Beach in Rayong are blaming the recent oil spill for the mass fish die-off in the area.Officials at Mae Rampung Beach in Rayong are blaming the recent oil spill for the mass fish die-off in the area.

Amporn Yukhrob, owner of the nearby Sampheenong restaurant, reported a “red tide” came in, washing dead fish onto the shore along two kilometers of beachfront. Among the dead were ponyfish and cuttlefish, which feed on plankton and shrimp.

Jaturas blamed PTT Global Chemical Co. - the company responsible for the July 27 spill that blackened beaches of Koh Samet with oil - for the die-off, although there was only anecdotal evidence to support his claim. He demanded an investigation to determine if the oil spill and chemicals used to disperse it were responsible for the dead fish.

Wichit said the fish will be tested for petroleum and chemical contamination and results will be available in about a week. He noted, however, that Mae Rampung was far from the spill zone and should not have been affected.

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