HomeThailandJail threatens: Tourist touches fish in the sea, angering Thai authorities

Jail threatens: Tourist touches fish in the sea, angering Thai authorities

While scuba diving off Koh Phangan in southern Thailand, a Hungarian tourist touched a needlefish and showed a video on YouTube. The local police considered this a violation of the law and called the traveler to the station, reports The Thaiger.

The incident took place in the province of Surat Thani in southern Thailand. The world community learned about what happened thanks to a video on the Paradise Films by Attila Ott YouTube channel. Footage from the video, which was removed shortly after the media outcry, shows a diver touching a needlefish with his hand.

“Touching or possessing ornamental fish without permission is a criminal offense,” said Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Deputy Director General Apichai Ekwanakul.

The director of the Center for the Conservation of Marine Resources Suratthani Chontichan Foptaptim wrote a statement to the police about the tourist. A Hungarian citizen was charged and summoned to court.

It is noted that Atilla Ott was already accused of “catching or keeping ornamental fish in an ecologically protected area” on September 1, 2020. The man was prosecuted and deported from the kingdom. The tourist appealed to return to take care of his elderly relative living on the island. Given the circumstances, the appeal was granted.

What punishment awaits a man for a repeated violation if found guilty is still unknown. It is likely that we are talking about imprisonment.

“Divers, please follow our laws: do not touch, but look. Do not take anything but photos and memories. Help and support the ecosystem of Thailand,” Ekvanakul advised other vacationers.

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