Photos of a shop at the Pattaya floating market caused quite a stir on social media after a photo was uploaded showing them selling barbecued seahorses for 150 baht each, a question was raised as to if this was legal and soon after officials ordered the shop to close.
The pictures were uploaded on January 22, along with a caption asking the internet community if it was either legal or ethical to sell seahorses as food as while they are not an endangered species as yet they are considered to be threatened.
Currently seahorses are under the protection of CITES which is an international agreement which countries have agreed to undertake to protect species that are vulnerable in an effort to prevent them from becoming an endangered species, Thailand has agreed to the agreement however it only stipulates that they will prevent the import and export of seahorses.
The deputy director of the Department of Fisheries, Umaporn Pimonbut said because the tiny aquatic animal is not technically protected by any Thai law that cooking them for food is not actually breaking any laws.
There was an onslaught of outrage on social media however with many commenting while it may not be illegal it was unethical and needed to be stopped.
It was reported that the barbecued seahorses were popular with Chinese tourists visiting Pattaya and that back in China people eat them as they are under the impression that they increase a person libido, as well as that they are also used in a variety of traditional Chinese medicines.
Yesterday the floating markets managing director, Manas Meepong, spoke out stating that he had ordered the shop to close and revoked their license and said “I found their actions Shocking and unacceptable.”
A sign was erected outside of the closed shop to notify members of the public of its closure.
Source : Thai PBS
Content : LovePattayaThailand