iving, snorkeling off Samae San islands banned indefinitely

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Sattahip authorities have halted boat tours around nine small islands in Samae San Subdistrict to protect coral reefs there.
Sattahip authorities have halted boat tours around nine small islands in Samae San Subdistrict to protect coral reefs there.

Sattahip authorities have halted boat tours around nine small islands to protect coral reefs there.
Samae San Subdistrict Mayor Prasert Pitakkorn issued the order to 19 tour boat operators April 29, saying snorkeling and scuba diving at the islands has been suspended indefinitely.

The order came after dive guide Eakawat Meetem, 32, was caught on video picking up a sea anemone to bait some clownfish for Chinese tourists. He has since been arrested and charged by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resource.

In addition to the 19 dive boats, about 100 speedboats can fill the water around Samae San’s islands. The Samae San Conservation Club met with boat operators to explain the new prohibitions.