Four whale sharks have been spotted near Koh Talu, three kilometres off the coast of southern Prachuap Khiri Khan
The surprise appearance of the quartet of hunting whale sharks caused excitement to groups of tourists and divers on board speed boats on their way from a pier at Klong Chamuang, Ban Nong Samet of Bang Saphan Noi district to Koh Talu island. Other tour groups have encountered the placid beasts as they hunt in the shallow Gulf waters. The biggest whale shark was estimated to be up to 7 metres long while the other three averaged 3-5 metres long.
The sea where the four sharks were spotted was about 8 metres deep. Whale sharks are the largest known species of fish. Mr Sophon Thongdee, deputy directorgeneral of Marine and Coastal Resources Department, said the presence of four whale sharks near Koh Talu stands as a testimony that the sea is abundant with marine lives that attract the arrival of the sharks. He said that was partly due to the efforts to ban fishing and the use of trawl nets near the shoreline. He asked divers not to touch the sharks or use flash lights in taking undersea photos, adding that vessels should keep a distance from them and to slow down the speed of their boats.
Chumphon Fishermen Cheer Return of Dolphins After Almost 10 Years Joy filled the air after fishermen in southern Chumphon province sighted a pod of over 30 dolphins not too far from the coast late last month with this being the first time they have showed up in almost 10 years, reflecting how healthy the environment has become. Fishermen in Saphli subdistrict, Pathio district, said they had set off to check the traps they had placed in Saphli bay, and around 10 kilometres from the coast, they saw this pod of not less than 30 dolphins, both big and small, swimming around chasing fish.
One of them used his mobile phone to videotape the dolphins, as they had not seen them for almost 10 years. Other fishermen on the coast were also very happy at the sighting of the dolphins because this indicated that Saphli bay is now healthy with marine life residing in its waters after the ecosystem improved. The big improvement came about from the government’s policy to rigorously oversee fishing boats, forbidding the catching of marine animals with illegal fishing traps which damage the ecosystem and aquatic life, and forbidding commercial fishing vessels from fishing near the coast.