Santi Nualsen just wanted to harvest a bounty of valuable blood clams he’d seeded the seafloor with.
So when dozens of other fishermen arrived to poach his precious molluscs, he did what any sensible entrepreneur would do: He mounted a jet ski and charged them while waving a gun and firing warning shots.
For that, Santi was charged yesterday with discharging a firearm in public without cause after he live-streamed video of his high-seas confrontation with the fishers collecting blood cockles in an area he’d claimed as his own just off the coast of Surat Thani province.
In the footage, a few shots are heard fired as Santi angrily shouts at the flotilla of fishing boats:
“Go away! Go away! Can you just go the fuck away?”
The man later told officers of Phunphin Police Station that he had paid over THB2 million to breed the baby cockles in his sea farm, which covers approximately 30 rai (4.8 hectares). After he saw dozens of fishermen arriving in boats to gather the clams, Santi said he decided to take matters into his own hands.
The other fishermen said his cache of clams is in a public area, so they had the right to gather them.
Surat Thani Gov. Witchawut Jinto said the sea within 5.4 kilometers of the coast is public property and open to all. He said he would mediate between the fishermen and find a solution to the conflict.
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