‘Punish them hard!’ Jetski jerkoffs ‘hunt’ whales in Thai gulf

Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources / FB
Photo: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources / FB

A pack of jetski-riding tourists tearing through the gulf in search of a protected and rare whale just off Phetchaburi province got off with only a warning today.

The group of about 10 jetskiers provoked rage after they took off from Chao Samran Beach to an area frequented by Bryde’s whales and only received a warning from local officials.

Boonyod Maklai, chief of Chao Samran sub-district, said activities, with their high speeds and loud noise, could not be considered whale-watching but rather “hunting down” the whales. 

The group was only warned by marine officials and asked to not do it again. Sompong Petchnak of the provincial marine department said they would be charged with hunting protected wildlife if caught doing it again.

Members of the public were infuriated by images of the jetskiers, slamming them as entitled hi-so, or well-off, people.

An image of the jetskiers. Photo: Khao Ded Phetchaburi / FB
An image of the jetskiers. Photo: Khao Ded Phetchaburi / FB

“Bastards! You go to see the whales or to scare off them? Though you’re super rich, you can’t bring back the nature,” BL Benly wrote on Facebook.

“Do you want to see the whales just one time and so nobody else can see them? You’re scaring the whales. They must be swimming somewhere else now,” Facebook user Phan Na wrote.

Some called for serious action against them. 

An image of the jetskiers. Photo: Khao Ded Phetchaburi / FB
An image of the jetskiers. Photo: Khao Ded Phetchaburi / FB

“Punish them hard! They’re so careless their actions will affect the whales’ habitat … They deserve to be punished by the law and society,” Sailom Muahuanklab wrote on Facebook. 

Bryde’s whales were added to Thailand’s list of 19 protected species two years ago along with the Omura’s whale, whale shark and leatherback turtle. Marine officials believe there are only 65 of them remaining in the gulf, as of last month.

In Thailand, Bryde’s whales usually journey to search for food in some areas such as Samut Songkram’s Phak Bia Cape and Phetchaburi’s Chao Samran Beach. Members of the baleen whale family, they are usually seen October through February.

Related:

Dead Bryde’s whale washes up on beach north of Phuket 

Another Bryde’s whale found dead 

Rare whale’s death blamed on fishermen

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