Richelieu Rock Damage Claims 'Erroneous' Says National Park Investigation
Investigation by Thai authorities has revealed that footage of dead fish and broken coral widely shared on social media was not caused by dynamite fishing at Richelieu Rock.
The story, reported on Friday, 7 April by the The Nation online journal and later by DIVE magazine was based on mis-reporting of an incident by a local dive guide. An update has since been published stating that ‘Park Chief Phutthaphot Khuprasit said yesterday that the team, led by dive master Wirat Banleng, inspected the site to a depth of 30 metres and found that the coral reef was still fertile with many varieties of fish and young coral. Some broken pieces were due to the reef’s natural condition.’
The original post has since been removed and the Facebook user, writing on their page, said that ‘I have to apologise for the big misunderstanding about Richelieu Rock. Many people have been investigating and there seems to be no evidence of an explosion. The fish could have been dead by many reasons, so it was wrong of me to assume it was the explosion. Richelieu is still beautiful and full of life, and I apologise for giving such wrong information’
The Bangkok Post also published an update on the situation at the reef, but stated that ‘there was a report of an explosion killing fish not far from the diving site, which was confirmed to be an act by trawlers from a neighbouring country’, although no further information was provided.