Officers from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Area 9 Phuket Office visited a Karon restaurant after a picture of them selling shark meat had gone viral on social media.

The team visited the avenue on November 19 but couldn’t find sharks being sold as in the pictures. The shop owner, Narongchai Thanataweesakul, told the investigating team that the picture was taken at the shop 2 years ago. He apologised that the leopard shark was really at the shop but claims he didn’t know about the law and bought it from someone who traded wholesale fish but assured officials that there’d been no more since then.

Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Deputy Dean of Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, commented on the shark photos.

“The problem about trading shark meat, especially rare sharks such as leopard sharks, hammerhead sharks and bull sharks, is a never-ending topic. The only hope is that the DMCR need to concretely protect the species. The sharks have been approved by the cabinet as protected animals and the law should be announced soon. Getting people to change their attitude about fishing for, and eating, these protected species will take a lot of time – especially those that have enjoyed eating them in the past.”

- Kritsada Mueanhawong