Q&A with Watcharabul (Note)

Watcharabul Leesuwan or Note is a famous actor in a local television in Thailand on channel 7. He was with us on our whale watching trip on June 8. Note spoke with Love Wildlife Foundation about his impression of whales, ecology, future generations and how love can change everything.

 LWL: What are your thoughts on this trip?

I think the trip is great; it amazes me to know that in gulf of Thailand not too far out from Bangkok will there be so many whales. Today we saw three of them, a mother, a calf and another one most likely a teenager. It is quite widely known that the gulf of Thailand waters is unclean with pollution and toxic wastes from factories, fishing and hotel industries being dumped into gulf of Thailand; I find it hard to believe that whales can live here and call it their home, while raising their families here.

LWL: Are you always interested in nature?

 I have always been interested in nature and wild life as a kid but I have never imagined that there are whales in Thailand. Not so long ago I have heard news that there are Bryde’s whales at Prachuap Khiri Khan at Bo Nok from my photographer friends, and they have taken some pictures there. I thought that was pretty cool, but understood that it only came like birds migrating over to Thailand to find fishes. I never imagined it is always here, for such a long time too!

LWL: What are your current thoughts on natural habitat in the world that we are currently living in?

As humans we shouldn’t over exploit nature too much because we are now using too much of our natural resources by cutting forests, and over using our oil. We are literally killing ourselves if we do not act. We take these resources for granted with no regards to other living inhabitants. Every animal are interrelated with our ecology, and so if something is missing or destroyed this makes it even more difficult for us to be here. I still find it astonishing that most of us do not place much importance in these relationships.

LWL: What would you like to say to youth in Thailand?

I think we are lucky that our new generation have a conservation mind. It is easier to instill them to love the nature. Youth is an important force now since it is difficult to change adult’s attitudes or their behaviors. . We need to teach youth to share, share the space, share the forest and share the ocean. Give wildlife its chance to live, and at the end of the day this will help to support the whole ecosystem that we are in.

LWL: Would you recommend our trip to people?

 I would definitely recommend people to come and see whales with your team. Whale watching trip requires rules and regulations, and well-trained staffs that understand the way to minimize disturbances.  I think it all starts with belief and the love of wildlife.

When there is love there is admiration, and the need to protect. Government can help regulate this protection, and can enforce this area to become marine parks and reserves. It can possibly limit the number of boats and type of boats entering the area, encourage seaside resort to be eco-friendly, and special zoning.

About the author

Pairat Temphairojana (Pai) is working as a journalist in Thailand. It was in 2009 when he first saw blue whales in a whale-watching tour in Alaska – and upon hearing that such majestic creatures like the Bryde’s whales is populating in the gulf of Thailand, he did not hesitate to join as a whale-watching guide in Thailand. He believes that having proper standards and regulations for a safer whale watching activities in the gulf of Thailand is necessary and can lead to a more sustainable tourism for the locals living in the region. Pai will be regularly joining us on board as a field observer and a reporter on our frequent visits to the Gulf of Thailand.

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