Grilled seahorses on sale for 150 baht each at the Pattaya Floating Market, before they were banned. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

PATTAYA: The Pattaya Floating Market and the vendor of grilled seahorses on Tuesday apologised in public for selling the product that tainted the image of the country.

Wichai Thanessanurak, the general manager of the market, admitted failure to thoroughly check and control all products sold at the place after the pictures of grilled seahorses being posted on social media by tourists.

The shop selling the animal belonged to Paisri Worawong, who, together with Mr Wichai, offered an apology to the public.

Mr Wichai said the image of the tourism sector was tainted by the matter and the product produced hard feeling for the public. He confirmed that the shop and contract with the seller had been terminated.

Mrs Pisri said she sold the grilled seahorses for about one month for tourists from China by buying dried seahorses for 80 baht each from a shop in Yaowarat in Bangkok and selling them 150 baht each.

“I did it because of my ignorance,” she said, adding she will return to her home province of Roi Et after a ban from the market.

General manager of the Pattaya Floating Market Wichai Thanessanurak (centre) and grilled seahorse seller Paisri Worawong (left) apologise to the public during a press conference on Tuesday. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

The floating market is popular for Chinese tourists. The Chinese believe that seahorses have medicinal qualities to give them energy, although there is no scientific proof.

Pongsiri Prasopsuk, the Fishery Department official, said Mrs Pisri will not face legal action as seahorses are not a protected animal in Thailand.

But the department plans to check a shop selling the aquatic animal to find out the legality of the trade, the official added.

Importing or exporting seahorses is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) to which Thailand is a signatory.

News Reporter

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