S. Korean actress’ cooking show endangers clams in Thailand: officials

A South Korean broadcaster who used giant clams caught in Thailand in her cooking program is facing up to four-year jail and has ignited public anger.

Narong Kongeiad, chief of Hat Chao Mai National Park in southern Thailand’s Trang Province, said he had filed the complaint with police against the South Korean actress after pictures on social media showing her team were catching the clams while participating in a reality TV show.

The team filmed the show themed the Law of the Jungle in March and the show was aired in June. The team used the clams for one of their dishes and ate the clams.

Narong said if the actress was found violate wildlife laws by hunting the giant clams, a maximum penalty of four years in prison would be given.

Seoul Broadcasting System, the show’s producer, said the team has asked permission from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to film the TV programe at Hat Chao Mai National Parks.

The producer issued a statement Friday saying it “deeply apologizes” for filming the episode without a thorough understanding of local regulations, and said it would be more careful in the future.

Giant clams are protected as endangered species. Catchers could be fined up to 20,000 baht and/or jailed for no more than five years.