A restaurant on the island of Koh Lanta, south of Phuket, has been serving baby hammerhead shark, and noted marine activist Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat is calling for the sharks to be added to the endangered species list in order to make the sad practice stop.
The call from Dr. Thon followed a viral photo of a small hammerhead shark being served on a dish at Try Me Restaurant in Koh Lanta. The photo was posted on Friday on the Facebook page of Sunshine Sketcher, who promotes wildlife conservation.
The text posted with the photo reads, “This is the end of a baby hammerhead shark. The photo is taken at Try Me Restaurant on Koh Lanta on June 30. They serve three dishes with baby sharks, and recently other tourists have also complained that they have seen a rising number of baby sharks ending up on its menu.”
“The hammerhead shark shown on the plate is the same species that, according to research in Thailand, is nearly endangered.”
“Poachers are responsible for the recent decline of hammerhead sharks. These poachers will sell hammerhead sharks to restaurants, which then turn them into a delicacy,” wrote Sunshine Sketcher.
The message went on to say that “Koh Lanta is a tourist attraction known for its beautiful scenery, especially at Moo Koh Lanta National Park. Most tourists visit the island to enjoy the beauty of the sea, and maybe hope to see baby shark swimming in its environment — not on a menu in a restaurant.”
“It is time for operators on Koh Lanta to petition for restaurants such as this to stop selling baby hammerhead sharks and declare Koh Lanta to be free from selling marine animals such as hammerhead sharks that are valuable to our marine ecosystem.”
“Please do not support eating sharks because sharks in the ocean are more valuable than the dead shark on your plate.”
Well-known marine activist Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, whose recent photos of an overpacked Maya Bay went viral, commented on the photo on his own Facebook page asking people to share the post and comment.
He said, “I have discussed with Kasemsun Chinnavasa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, that officials propose to add hammerhead sharks to the endangered species list because the recent data clearly shows that they have declined 95 percent in 10 years. Kasemsun said that the Department Of Marine And Coastal Resources is collecting information about this, but while waiting, please help preserve this animal. If Phi Phi Island can stop selling it why can’t Koh Lanta?”
Story: The Phuket News