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Published on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Thailand warns jet skiing tourists not to disturb whales






Thailand's natural resources and environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa has a message for tourists: don't go chasing whales on jetskis.


Last week sightings of Bryde's whales off the coast of Petchaburi province went viral prompting a flood of tourists to the area.


That led to a group of about 20 tourists hopping on jetskis and chasing them in the water.


Varawut has ordered local authorities to safeguard the area from such activity and educate tourists.


"Bryde's whales which appear seasonally in Petchburi are precious gifts from nature. Tourists are urged not to disturb the whales because with such disturbances, the mammals may not return to the site" he said.


They are also putting themselves in danger, he said.


Thailand has stringent rules on whale watching as part of a revamp of its marine tourism strategy and Varawut wants authorities to make sure they are being upheld.


The Bryde's whale is one of 19 proitected mammal species in Thailand.

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