Thailand expedites protection of endangered marine species


Bangkok – Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) has claimed that the number of deaths of marine animals is not increasing.  However, it also confirms that for those that do die, the main cause of death is human activity, as it was last year.

Thailand is home to 28 species of endangered marine mammals and 5 species of sea turtle.  In the past three years, the DMCR has been successful in adding 16 marine animals to the list of protected species.  In future, the DMCR will use advanced technology to collect data for the purposes of conservation.

Director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Institute, Ukkrit Satapoomin, says that a breakdown of marine animal deaths places sea turtles at 57%, dolphins 38% and dugongs at 5%.  This is not an increase from last year.  The main causes of harm are commercial fishing equipment and plastic bags.  The DMCR wants to designate more protected marine areas to protect marine animals from harm, especially sea turtles.

Director of Veterinary medicine at the Aquatic Animal Research Center of Chulalongkorn University, Nantarika Chansue, said recently that Thailand has five marine animal rescue centers in coastal areas.  This year the government has assigned a budget to establish additional rescue centers in Phuket province.