Naklua fishermen oppose Harbor Department
New regulations concerning the construction of buildings along Thailand’s rivers, canals and beaches have been introduced by the Harbour Department to help protect Thailand’s waterways.
Owners of sites that are deemed to be in breach of the rules will have one year to demolish or amend the buildings. After that, the Harbor Department can report the complaint to inquiry officers who may file a lawsuit against the occupant or owner. The fine will be between 500-10,000 Baht per square meter of the penalty area.
The new rules will also apply to existing buildings, including those owned by villagers.
The intention of the new measures is to protect local marine commerce and agriculture from pollution, flooding and over fishing.
The regulations have been criticized by local fishermen in Naklua who have fished in the area for over 30 years. Over 350 households in the area have are expected to be affected by the regulations and many have argued that they simply cannot afford to pay the fines.
After writing a letter to the Harbor Department, a meeting has been scheduled between the local authorities and residents so that some kind of compromise can be met, such as a potential waiver for small offenders.