Environmentalists ask department stores to ban parrotfish sales

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BANGKOK, July 24 — Thai environmentalists are calling on popular supermarkets and department stores to stop the sale of parrotfish, with three malls already complying to the request.

After environmentalist group Reef Guardian Thailand launched a campaign pressuring popular supermarkets and department stores of Tesco Lotus, Macro, Central, The Mall and Villa Market to stop selling parrotfish through the www.change.org/saveparrotfishwebpage, 17,000 people voted in favour of the campaign, prompting Tesco Lotus, Central and Macro to immediately ban the sales of the fish, while two other stores remained unaffected.

Reef Guardian of Thailand advisor and academic Phet Manopawit said the group would continue its campaign and if the two remaining stores still refused to comply with the request, the group would then present documentation to relevant agencies to further pressure the stores into accepting their responsibilities to society.

Afterwards, the group plans to expand its campaign to include larger seafood stores, as the parrotfish species is important to the marine ecological system as it helps protect coral reefs.

Dr Phet said it is imperative that Thailand completely ban the sale of parrotfish in all stores, as the fish are the only species that could help preserve the coral reefs. Once the fish becomes a popular dish on the menu, their numbers would dwindle gravely and would in turn cause the coral reefs to be destroyed as well.