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Fish farmers promised compensation

THAILAND- Fish farmers, whose fish died due to waste water from the Phuket City Offices waste management area, are to be compensated.

The incident occurred last week when the fish and mussels being farmed near Koh Kui and Klong Koh Phi were killed as a result of the pollution. Heavy rain caused untreated run-off from the city's waste disposal facilities, to overflow into the canal and into the water system.

The fish stocks lost were almost mature and ready to be harvested. According to initial surveys by the Fisheries officials, the damage has amounted to over 6.6 million baht.

Yesterday the Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansuppana and the provincial chief of Agriculture and Co-operative Tanasanee Sawasdirak held a meeting with the farmers to discuss assistance and the compensation program. She said that her office has now authorized payments of a maximum of 400,000 baht per victim. Amounts exceeding this will need approval from the Ministry of Interior.

Mayor Somjai admitted that the problem was the result of the amount of garbage on the island which exceeds the incineration plant and landfill capabilities. City officials have been bombarded with requests for a second burner for its incineration plant on several occasions. The current amount of waste, around 500 tons a day, exceeds the plants capacity 250 tons per day and the risk from pollution is increasing.