Park officials are investigating the deaths of several reef sharks discovered entangled in fishing gear by divers near Thailand’s famed Phi Phi island.
Officials in the Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park had cleared the area of fishing equipment scattered in the ocean by Monday, according to one, who had also examined the blacktip reef sharks.
“After we were notified by divers about blacktip reef sharks getting stuck in fishing lines near Phi Phi Island, we went to examine the situation. We found fishing lines that had blown away to land in the northern corner of the island. They were about 50-100 meters long,” Krisda Thirawut wrote on social media along with photos and videos of the sea creatures attached to the end of a fishing line.
Krisda had not responded to requests for comment as of publication time.
The sea creatures are believed to have been dead for a couple of days at the time of discovery, according to several media reports.
Blacktip reef sharks are considered near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature with population trends decreasing.
Blacktip reef sharks are not the only creatures affected by fishing gear, which has also been blamed for the death of other sea life such as dugongs. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist and Kasetsart University lecturer told Coconuts Bangkok in October that over 90% of dugong deaths are caused by humans and their fishing gear.