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TikTok user arrested for illegal spear fishing in National Park

Man fishing underwater with a speargun
(Image credit: Getty)

A man was arrested in Thailand after recording himself spear fishing in a National Park and posting the footage on TikTok.

As Newsweek (opens in new tab) reports, fishing is illegal in the country's National Parks, and residents were outraged when the clip began circulating online. The fisherman responded by deleting it, but not before it caught the attention of officials.

In the video, the man (identified as 22-year-old Roslan Benedia) can be seen with six fish, including two endangered parrotfish and a moray wwl. Spearfishing is legal in most parts of Thailand, with the exception of National Parks and marine reserves, and certain rare species (including parrotfish) are off limits.

Benedia admitted to hiring a boat and speargun, but claimed to be unaware that he was fishing in a National Park. He also posted an apology on his TikTok account, stating "I just want to say I'm deeply, deeply sorry for what I did. I did not know anything about this and it was absolutely not my intention to catch those fishes or even fish in an area like that where it's not allowed to fish."

Deportation and blacklisting

However, this looks unlikely to sway the opinion of Thai officials. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa confirmed that confirmed that Benedia will face legal consequences, as will the boat owners and the speargun provider.

According to the Thai Examiner (opens in new tab), which reported the arrest, Benedia will be brought before the court in Phuket, and may be deported and blacklisted from Thailand if convicted of a criminal offence under the 2019 National Parks Act.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).