Koh Samet tourism under major threat from oil spill

Published on : Friday, January 28, 2022

The fragile tourism sector of Koh Samet got massively hampered by the COVID-19 restrictions and now encounters yet another threat from an oil spill heading for the island and nearby, beaches. Sarinthip Tupmongkholsup from the Tourism Association of Koh Samet is reminded of a 2013 oil spill at Ao Phrao and is frantic to stop it from happening of the repeated scenario.

“We do not want a repeat of the terrible spill at Ao Phrao Bay, as locals worked for years to clean it up.”

The natural resources of the beach still have not improved from the 2013 leak and, in spite of the incident taking place in just one area, the crude oil deteriorated island’s air quality and affected the demand of tourism.

The Pollution Control Department says 180,000 – 200,000 litres of the 400,000 litre spill are headed for Mae Ramphueng Beach, according to a Bangkok Post report, along with other beaches in the Khao Laem Ya–Mu Koh Samet Marine National Park. The department warns that immediate step is important otherwise the oil is scheduled to hit the shore tomorrow afternoon.

Already the sector has been hit the hardest way in the eastern province of Rayong, where Koh Samet is located, but Sarinthip says that the oil spill if not stopped right away can pose to be a bigger threat to tourism than the pandemic.
It will stop tourist to swim in the sea and seafood could get contaminated. She is requesting the government to do whatever it takes to lessen the harm.

Discussions are organized on an emergency basis from this morning to alleviate the fallout from a crude oil pipeline leak in the waters south of Pattaya, off the coast of Rayong. The leak occurred at a mooring point off the coast where oil tankers load and offload.

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