A local tour guide in Trang was fined Bt500 for catching a starfish from the sea to entertain tourists after a holiday selfie snap went viral on social media.
Meanwhile, relevant agencies pledged to step up the surveillance of tourism activities to prevent similar incidents in future.
On Thursday, the picture of a Thai tourist holding a starfish taken from the sea brought widespread condemnation.
Had Chao Mai National Park chief Manoj Wongsureerat revealed said that the tour guide who caught the starfish had been arrested and fined Bt500.
“We have strict rules on tourism in the national park area, and this is a rare case of a tour guide violating the rule and catching a marine animal to entertain tourists,” Manoj said.
“The park will step up monitoring of tourism activities in the park to ensure no incidents like this happen again in future.”
Trang Provincial Marine Resource Preservation Division director Prachuap Mokarat said the Marine and Coastal Resources Department would strengthen surveillance of the tourism business and try to increase the awareness among the people to protect marine resources.
“Most of the tourist boats in Trang are traditional fishing boats that local people use to serve tourists during high season, so it is quite hard to regulate them properly,” Prachuap said.
“However, we are trying to educate the people to save the marine resources and promote the sustainable tourism, because there are not enough officers to guard the big sea. We are sure that if the people realise the importance of marine life, they will preserve it dearly.”