The Marine Department director-general Sorasak Saensombat made remarks following the several kilometres oil slick illegally released off the coast of Bang Saen beach in Chonburi province, affecting the tourism industry in the area.
Mr Sorasak said he has instructed officials to conduct investigation on the case to find the culprits. It is initially believed that some boats released the oil into the sea.
He said the department is finding expert private firms to clean up the beach and will discuss approaches and negotiate the budget with them.
For the long term solution against the illegal oil release, Mr Sorasak said the department will consider increasing severity of the penalty from the current fine of Bt60,000 and 3-year imprisonment.
He said the offenders would also have to pay for any clean-up costs, expressing his belief that harsher punishment will help reduce the problem.