Samut Songkhram seafood sales soar after Rayong oil spill
Seafood restaurants in Samut Songkhram province are enjoying a near 30 per cent hike in sales after the oil spill incident from an underground pipeline off the coast of Rayong on January 25.
“The oil spill is indeed a terrible news, but at least it has made more people visit coastal provinces in the lower Central and Southern regions instead of the East,” Phanumas Ruamsuk, president of Samut Songkhram Food Merchants Association, said on Thursday.
“In the past week, restaurants in the province have seen an increase in customers and sales are up by around 30 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Mongkhol Sukjaroenkhana, president of Samut Songkhram Fishery Association, said that so far there is no report of seafood in the province being contaminated by the oil slick in the Gulf of Thailand.
“Samut Songkhram is far from the oil spill area and therefore the seafood here is safe to eat,” he said.
“Aquatic animals are very sensitive to changes in their environment. If they detect even a slight trace of a foreign chemical, like oil in the water, they will evacuate to a cleaner area.”
Mongkhol said the oil spill incident was likely to affect the fishing communities in Rayong and nearby provinces for at least three months.
“Local fishermen and small- to medium-sized fishing companies are likely to suffer from low production, as sea animals will not return until they are sure the areas are livable,” he said. “The oil company must take responsibility for this incident, since it is their job to ensure that the pipeline, which has been in commission for a long time, is still in good condition. If this happens in other countries, the company would be facing heavy lawsuits demanding millions in compensation.”