Return of turban shells in Chumporn after 20 years of absence

Residents of Lamae district of the southern province of Chumporn flocked to the Ban Laem beach Saturday morning to pick up turban shells (hoi Tawua) which they claimed had disappeared from the Gulf of Thailand for about two decades.

With one hand holding a plastic bucket or small net, the shell hunters were seen strolling with their eyes focused on the beach to look for the rare turban shells which were washed ashore by waves.

Once they had enough catch, they started peeling off the shells for the meat inside which, they said, fetches good price in the market because of its good taste.

It was reported that turban shells were washed ashore stretching about five kilometres long of the Ban Laem bach.

Ms Ratree Chantharat, a Lamae district fishery official, said that turban shells had disappeared from the Gulf about 20 years ago because of illegal fishing which has destroyed the shells' food chain.

She attributed the return of the turban shells in Chumporn province to the government's stricter control against illegal fishing.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)