Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bad Korean Tourist

There are photos circulating on the Internet today of a young Korean girl in Palau holding a shark.  She posted the photos to her Instagram profile (which has since been deleted).  We're reposting the photos here so that the authorities in Palau can investigate.

The photo getting the most attention shows her holding a juvenile grey reef shark out of the water.  I think that's her dive master or boat captain on the right.  Anyone know his name?


A few minutes later she posted a second photo holding the shark.  Palau is a shark sanctuary and it is illegal to fish for sharks.  If you accidentally catch a shark, it should be released while still in the water, not brought on board for selfies.


They were also collecting giant clams.  I don't think that's Tridacna gigas, but is this legal for tourists to do in the Rock Islands?


So can you help?  Here's a photo she posted of her dive boat.  Can you help identify which shop this is?  I hope that the authorities can go pay them a visit and remind them not to harass sharks.



UPDATE:

The Palauan authorities are investigating the tour operator. We will follow the story and post updates.

Also, there has been much discussion on social media about how the shark was caught accidentally.  The catching of the shark was not illegal; the law was broken when the shark was brought on board the vessel.

The Palau Shark Sanctuary law reads:
(i)f any shark is inadvertently caught or captured, it shall be immediately released, whether dead or alive; if the shark is caught or captured alive, it shall be released in the manner that affords it the greatest opportunity for survival.
The law continues:
to possess, receive, sell, transfer, store, have on board, or transship any shark, or any part of any shark. For the purpose of this subsection, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that if any shark, or any part of a shark, is found aboard a vessel the shark, or shark part, was possessed or transferred in violation of this subsection.
The criminal penalties for violating this law are "punishable by a fine of not more than $250,000."

The dive shop should be worried because the authorities in Palau are known to enforce their laws.  Just last month they handed out a $100,000 fine to a vessel that was illegally fishing in Palauan waters and found with 304 sharks aboard their vessel.  In neighboring Saipan, a dive master was recently jailed for six months after he posted a photo to Facebook of an eagle ray he killed.

74 comments:

choo hwa Kang said...

blame is on the captain and crew, should not be blamed on the tourist. end of discussion.

Austin Peele said...

Absolutely she is to be blamed. Ignorance is no excuse for destroying eco systems. Equal responsibility is to be shared with everyone. You attitude is the problem with people and this world, always someone else's fault.

Gangnam Gu said...

Why not ask her? Those links go directly to her instagram.
Ignorance can not be an excuse, but if she was really *ignorant* of the matter, I'm sure she will be willing to identify the shop.

Gangnam Gu said...

Report the shop to the authorities. Get them punished for irrrsponsible behavior. I think its more important than just bashing on the net.

Anonymous said...

To blame her is at your own decision but the law won't forgive her for sure.

http://palaudream.com/front/php/com_intro.php

Anonymous said...

And it seems like thy even taste giant calm sashimi on board. Great.

Anonymous said...

Gangnam gu, she is ignorant!!! She is to be blamed!!! For all we know, you are the "bad korean tourist". Of course we know the crew is also at fault but this is pretty ignorant on her part. And she 7osyl8XIC# enough research to decide to visit Palau so she knew it is a shark sanctuary. The fact she already took down the pics on her instagram shows she knew.

Ji Eun Lee said...

Dude, if you have a problem, go to her yourself and talk to her instead of bashing her on the internet. She probably doesn't even know her instagram is mentioned on a site like this. Ignorance isn't an excuse, but same responsibility goes to you if you are unwilling to inform those who do not know.

Anonymous said...

Your post has been forwarded to this FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/490848214337941/?fref=nf
You can be confident that the boat operator is gonna be identified soon and hopefully paid a visit by the Palau rangers...
Unfortunately it is not the first time this kind of thing happen in Palau... Thanks for sharing the info!

신지호 said...

What you are looking at you guys are doing is wrong.
Sometimes caught during fishing.
She is back into the sea.
I myself saw it!
And posting the pictures without her permission
This is illegal and strongly to sanction

Ji Eun Lee said...

She paid to fish at that site, and a small shark was caught. She was told that if you just cut the rope, the shark will have an infection and will most likely die, so she received help from the locals and took the fishing needle out of the shark. She said she took a picture before releasing the shark into the ocean. I think you should feel embarrassed for jumping to conclusions and bashing her and take down this article since that wasn't a harassment.

hello.0604 said...

I'm the girl in that picture. I was fishing with their permission legitimately and caught a little shark by chance
I returned the shark to the sea after removing the needle
I just wanted to take a picture with the shark just before returning the shark because it was my first time to see a shark and that was so amazing.
I know I did such an impredent thing but I didn't really mean it.
i swear to GOD!
I'll take legal actin against posting my picture openly without my permission and that people who I don't even know made a personal attack on me

Anonymous said...

So quick to take action and shame someone that you forget about the possibility she didn't do anything wrong. Pretty pathetic, to put people on blast exposing her to hateful comments and threats all because YOU thought it were necessary to do so.. This type of behavior is bullying, regardless of what it stands for. Contact he authorities, THEYRE THE ONES PAID TO INVESTIGATE, NOT YOU

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the dive shop next to coral reef? next to the m-dock gas station/ whats it called again? fish-n-fins?

Anonymous said...

@hello.0604..

The personal attacks you got should better be a lesson learned. Yes Palau is a small islan nation. But marine life is as precious as a child to his/her mother. Im sorry you got attacked here by bullies, but thats what most people get when they interfere with our islands treasures.
Good Day to you!

Anonymous said...

Dude.. no, this site was the one that attacked her before they even bothered to find out about the situation. She was not interfering with "your" island treasures in the first place. If she let go of the shark without taking out the fishing needle, then a part of "your island treasure" would have died. Stop being so stubborn and admit that you were at fault for attacking her.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shark Defenders,

This is a very inappropriate way to make comments on something. It looks like you know how to defend sharks. But you also know how to make someone a fool and attack someone in public. You don't care about someone's privacy? You should've known what happened first. Don't just judge everything in your eyes. You should be more cautious when you make someone a bad person. If I were her, I would be very embarrassed and annoyed.........You have a right to post her picture on this website without her permission. Don't you?

carl lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

See? Many Koreans here are blaming someone else like crew, captain, or dive club. Not her. Soneone is even judging this post because the girl doesn't know about this post. Classic Koreans.

When you kill someone in korea, you can say that cops, social system, and even the president are at fault, not you.

Of course the dive club did wrong too. But the person who is holding the shark and clam (probably alive one, judging by its color) is the woman.

Anonymous said...

Now you are just writing a novel. Do you even have any proof? Or are you just a friend of her?

Anonymous said...

Im sorry? Who's the idiot you was fishing and caught the shark by chance? This is quite hilarious now. Please before you comment answer you own question. Right now im thinking your a high school graduate and, well thats all i can come up with.

What a low life. i actually feel sorry for you. Stop coming to Palau you arrogant Koreans & Chinese. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Instead of bashing one take a look at yourselves first. Because she isn't from palau you are quick to judge and condemn her. You all keep saying how ignorant she is for such things, if marine life is that important why didn't the person who took her fishing who is a local correct her mistake. which is little to none. Come on people they are far worse things happening in the island that nothing is being done because the ones making errors are locals yet you want a foreigner to pay for something when you don't even know half of the truth. And you wonder why people have such bad reps.

korean said...

shame on you stupid.

Anonymous said...

If it is true that she paid for fishing, and when fishing she caught the shark by accident, and removed the needle for shark's sake (probably by crew I assume) , and took a picture before releasing, I don't think there is anything that she did wrong.
Although, the picture she took does invite ppl's misunderstanding.
I feel sorry for the girl. It was her 2nd year wedding anniversary, and her Instagram account is now gone (or blocked).

Belauangirl08 said...

Gosh people learn the story and dont be too quick to jump to conclusions! She must me so humiliated! Keep your head up sis! God Bless <3 i know you didnt mean any harm :-)

AlabamaGuy99 said...

KOREANS AND CHINESE SHOULD JUST PACK THEIR BAGS AND LEAVE PALAU. JUST LEAVE! YOUR COUNTRIES ARE WAY BIGGER AND I BET ITS IN BETTER ECONOMY. WHY COME HERE AND ATTACK PALAUANS?! SHAME ON YOU YOU BUNCH OF LOW LIFES!! UGH YOU SMALL EYED PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK!!

Anonymous said...

Huh, some Shark defenders became Human attackers now. Funny.

Anonymous said...

Let's not head bash the tourists that do come to Palau to enjoy the beauty. The shop is NOT Fish n Fins.
The error in the captain, boat crew, tour guide and even customer (yes, you girl) is that you don't even need to take it out of the water AND take pictures. Catch and release can take about 10 seconds (less if you're really good) - which is way more time that you used to put it on the boat, take off the hook, and THEN take pictures. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Palau, but please next time, be more mindful of the shark and do not let it suffer (scared and gasping for air) for a picture.

Anonymous said...

People be nice. We are here to defend Sharks. Not attack one another. This is not helping anyone, but rather bullying. And not nice.

@Alabamaguy99
Either your standing up for your people, or you island or whatever your standing up for, do it with kind words. Your making yourself sound like a racist and thats not cool.

Peace

Anonymous said...

if it was a palauan who caught that shark...he probably would get a knife and stab it couple of times before releasing it... lol. so funny how we are too quick to judge others.....

Woongchul Jang said...

저 여자의 행동이 잘못되었고, 법에 의해 처벌받을 면이 있으면 받아야겠지만,
그걸 가지고 제목에 'Korea'를 들먹이는 건 옳지 않다.
그냥 '나쁜 개인'일 뿐이지 나쁜 한국은 아닌 것이다.
글쓴 당신이 한국에 대한 개인적인 악감정이 있는지는 모르겠지만, 이런 식으로 국가, 민족을 싸잡아 매도하는 글을 올린 당신도 개념이 없는 나쁜'Bad'사람인 건 마찬가지.

Anonymous said...

Just her, crew, captain.
Not korean, not chinese.
You choose wrong target.

JK said...

To the girl in that picture.


OK. Think about this..
I was fishing with their permission legitimately and caught "YOU" by chance.

I sent you to the hospital and you got removed the needle.
I just wanted to take a picture with you just before bring you to the hospital because it was my first time to catch a peopke and that was so amazing.

I know I did such an imprudent thing but I didn't really mean it.

i swear to GOD!

Does it make any sense??


I'll claim you to Korean ministry of foreign affairs for punishing by law.

I hope you to apologize than to explain yourself.


참 뻔뻔하십니다 그려..
병원 보내드리기 전에 사진 잠시 찍은 거에요. 몇초 밖에 더 걸려요? 겨우 몇초 더 아픈건데 그걸로 그러세요??

옹호하는 한국분들 정신 차리세요.
이건 변명할 문제가 아니라 사과할 문제입니다.
일단 개념은 진짜 없는 거구요.

Islander24_7 said...

A picture is worth a thousand words and people can see the negative and positive to what they see. Before we point fingers and start accusing one another, we should get to the bottom of things first so we can better address the situation. No need to be to rash and make judgements. Im sure she had good intentions seeing that she was only trying to set it free from the line. There is always a better and more calm way to deal with the situation without having to say such harsh words and attacking one another. Instead let this be an example that others can learn from and raise more awareness. Let us work together to maintain a safe and peaceful environment for underwater wildlife. It is truly a beauty not just for the locals to enjoy, but also for tourists from all over that come toexperience the underwater wonders of our islands. *Hope you all have a nice day and God bless us all!

Anna Han said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As a person that has made a few shark docos and is involved hands on in shark conservation I think everyone needs to take a breath.
If the dive operators are allowing people to fish and collect clams when they should be helping defend the coastline to the letter of the law then it is seriously on them. I would not expect everyone who travels to australia to know our protected species, catch limits or even all our road rules! The dive crew are there to educate and help police the situation. I see some gross neglegence but hope all animals were not severely harmed when they were returned. Assuming they were. Its also good it has been brought into the public eye to stop repeat offences.
breath
Matt Hawksworth

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Let us not jump to conclusions. I'm sure we were not there so let's not judge. She did release the shark because she was informed about the law. Not everyone can see the law word for word unless it is posted in detail everywhere or on boat.This is a very bad article and hope that you take it down.

Sophia Moore said...

Exactly Austin Peele.
The world would be an even worse place if we did whatever we felt like and than claimed ignorance.

Jun Heum Yoon said...

Good!

Anonymous said...

Good god you all are out of control. Should just mind your damn business and let the proper authorities handle it. And for you all who think that you have the authority to kick out koreans and chinese ethnicity out of palau, take a good look at the mirror. What have you done to improve palau? What did you contribute to the republic? Can you make changes that will further enhance the amount of currency and raise the economy of the island? There's always two sides of a story, everyones innocent until proven guilty. Like i said let the proper authorities handle this case and stop harassing both parties until the investigators come up with a conclusion.

Anonymous said...

hello.0604,

Here it is AGAIN!!

The Palau Shark Sanctuary law reads:

(i)f any shark is inadvertently caught or captured, it shall be immediately released, whether dead or alive; if the shark is caught or captured alive, it shall be released in the manner that affords it the greatest opportunity for survival.
The law continues:

to possess, receive, sell, transfer, store, have on board, or transship any shark, or any part of any shark. For the purpose of this subsection, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that if any shark, or any part of a shark, is found aboard a vessel the shark, or shark part, was possessed or transferred in violation of this subsection.
The criminal penalties for violating this law are "punishable by a fine of not more than $250,000."

Read the fine print! oh, and just because you "didn't know" the law does not justify your wrongful actions! Great job on giving ALL Koreans a bad rep!#BadKoreanTourist

Anonymous said...

Are you Korean, as the post on social media states?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Do not defend that stupid woman.
She did wrong and stupid thing and did not apologize at all. She is not allowed to enter palau again.
And korean government should take her into jail !
If i meet her in seoul , i will kick her.

Anonymous said...

변명보단 사과부터 해야지 이여자야..
Apologies first.

한가영 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I can't understand why did you say "Bad Korean"?? I think the captain had to notice about the "shark fising" & "Dont bring on board!" to her.

a ggaya said...

I Agree!!

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Let us not jump to conclusions. I'm sure we were not there so let's not judge. She did release the shark because she was informed about the law. Not everyone can see the law word for word unless it is posted in detail everywhere or on boat.This is a very bad article and hope that you take it down. -> really agree!!!

Anonymous said...

1. The captain and crew members were there. They most likely informed her of the law.
2. She released it back after removing the hook. Which was most likely done by one of the crew or the captain.
3. I doubt that she is well trained in handle ocean wild life.
Most likely everything was carefully handled by the experience and professionalism of the captain and his crew in handling such delicate creatures. Am I to assume that the captain and his crew members are both incompetent and irresponsible in their daily jobs? Is it not their job to show every beauty this paradise has to offer? Is it not their job to help tourist touch and feel with their own hands the rare and unique variety of wildlife Palau has to offer, without endangering both tourist and wildlife? Stop making excuses and blaming someone for ignorance, the captain and crew were there, they would of stopped her if she was doing something wrong. There's more to the story, so let the investigators do their job.

Anonymous said...

Hhmmm. Yes. Mmhhmm. It says that indeed. But she did release the shark back into the water after removing the hook, whether it was dead or alive. I don't see anything on here saying that she can't take a picture with the shark. Or is this incomplete??

Anonymous said...

Hold your head high!! Most of this individuals are the ignorant ones. Coming at you with half baked accusations. You followed what those local tour guides told you. Yes ignorance is not an excuse, but i know for a fact that you ask them about everything before you actually did anything. So you took some memorial pic's. Big deal the shark still alive and well i doubt it would of been able to feed itself with a hook in its mouth.

Anonymous said...

Uh.. when did this become about you?? Did you get attacked by both Koreans and Chinese??

Anonymous said...

The blame is both on the captain and the tourist not just koreans but to all touris around the world who come to witness our islands untainted beauty and the keyword is "witness" meaning looking at do not touch before this tours all who go on board the boat get a orientation on the do's and don't if you don't want to follow the rules the don't come our island are beautiful because we the people of palau keep it so so please if you come visit enjoy the beauty of our islands not destroy it please and thank you.

Anonymous said...

That's the worst example I've ever read. First off let just say this you paid to legitimately fish and you ended up catching but before you'd send to the hospital you took a picture of me because it was the first time you caught my type of species. Off course I'd be mad as hell!! Now that i know there's a picture of me out in the web with a damn hook in my mouth...

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you wrote but I got your back!!

Anonymous said...

Did someone say shark bulgogi? ?

Anonymous said...

I am so embarrassed for those of you who are being too racist. Please let’s not point fingers and let the authorities do their job. For those who said such a nasty comment about Koreans and Chinese, I mean come on man, this is the 21st century everyone who are educated knows that racism is disgusting and all of you should know better… I am from Palau and I do love my country and I know all of you are defending your own but being racist and calling names is just wrong… I want to apologize on behalf of those who were being mean and saying bad things about Koreans and Chinese…. I pray for world peace… Thank you and God bless us all

Jordyn said...

It's disappointing to learn that the vast majority of "shark defenders" are antagonistic racists. What a terrible way to represent a noble cause.

First off, there is a reason people hire tour guides. It is to be guided in a place they are unfamiliar with by someone who IS familiar with the area, laws, and customs. She was a TOURIST, so obviously she didn't grow up learning the local laws. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to believe that she placed her trust in the local tour operators to guide her and other tourists in a LEGAL manner.

I don't know if any of you have traveled to a location where you don't speak the language before, but learning an entire second language and culture can take a lifetime. It's not as easy of a task as all of you imply. That's why most tourists go on guided tours by PROFESSIONALS from the local area, expecting that those professionals KNOW the laws and would guide tourists to avoid breaking any laws, taboos, or local customs.

For those of you saying she should have researched and memorized all the laws beforehand, let's see your recite every law and subsection from your native land by memory if it's such an easy task. NOW try reciting every law and custom from a place you don't even live entirely from memory. Did you see her mutilate the shark? Kill it? Eat it? No? Then would it be so impossible that the tour guides said it was OK to catch and hold the sharks before releasing them back in to the water?

As far as assumptions go, it doesn't seem impossible, especially since a vast majority of you love to assume that everyone from a specific race all think and act the same way.

And as for the fact that she deleted her Instagram, how would YOU react if dozens of people speaking a foreign language began to post racist rants to your Instagram? You could have approached this issue with civility and encouraged her to expose the tour operators and accept the consequences of her actions, but clearly the users here can't think beyond "UGH YOU SMALL EYED PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK!!" and "Stop coming to Palau you arrogant Koreans & Chinese" (both actual quotes from this blog). And in addition to all the racist, hurtful comments someone has the gall to say "The personal attacks you got should better be a lesson learned."

Even the author is biased. "Bad Korean Tourist". Assuming she was intentionally in the wrong, why not just a "Bad Tourist"? Why does her race count against her? Clearly there is an underlying culture of racism in this blog.

Jon Olkeriil said...

I'm Palauan. I don't have a problem with this. For as long as social media has been around, I've seen folks do similar s*** like this and I haven't heard anyone bitch about it till now. Maybe its because she's Korean. This article seems to focus in more on rallying against her. "Bad tourist" Hahahaha! C'mon... News like this hardly ever cover the full story in detail.

Anonymous said...

Yes but the law was broken as soon as this BAD KOREAN decided it was "cool" to take a pic with the shark. And "legal actions" really?! Bad Korean, these are pictures you freely posted on the internet! Didn't your mother tell you that everything you post on the world wide web is free game and stays there forever? If not, you better ask somebody! Great job giving ALL Koreans a bad name. Your mom must be so proud.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Palauan tour operator, the guide and the company owner all get big fines and or jail time. If you want to stop this kind of action happening then a precedent has to be set. What about the Clam she's holding? That would have had to be forced from it's anchor point? The shark inadvertently caught I can understand, but ripping up a clam for a selfie? That's BS. For anyone to claim she wouldn't be aware that she's doing anything wrong just signals ignorance in the first degree. And for a Palauan to suggest they have no problem with it, well that just shows how much some people think about the well being of the marine nature in a country that depends on the very same for the majority of it's populations livelihoods.

Glorya C. said...

The title of this article should be changed.

Anonymous said...

"The shark inadvertently caught I can understand, but ripping up a clam for a selfie? That's BS. For anyone to claim she wouldn't be aware that she's doing anything wrong just signals ignorance in the first degree."

How do you know she ripped up the clam? How do you know the tour operators didn't remove it? How do you know the tour operators didn't harvest the clam prior to the beginning of the tour, to show the tourists?

There seems to be a lot of assumptions coming from someone who claims to dislike ignorance-- baseless assumptions are the greatest signifier of an ignorant individual.

She trusted the tour guides YOUR government allowed to operate in the area. Guides are supposed to know the laws and customs of the local area, but they didn't educate her or stop her. This is an issue with the Palauan tourism industry, not the tourists themselves.

If she went out to sea on her own accord with her own boat and fishing equipment and caught sharks and clams then SHE would be at fault, but she was on a GUIDED tour so she trusted the LOCAL GUIDES. How can you blame someone who was purposely misled?

Your government should have stricter regulations on tour operators and make sure they properly inform the tourists about the local laws and regulations. In addition, it should make sure that the tour operators themselves have more careful fishing operations.

Anonymous said...

Lmfao!!! Seriously. ...to all who responded to this article ........are any of y'all Palauans? Hahahaha!!! How about I get a boat ranger to give us an update on the shark's wellbeing....
Such a petty issue. No different than crying over spilt milk. But if she were to shove the whole shark up her ass hole and twerked it till her cheeks grew teeth..... I'd be just as outraged as you are.

Anonymous said...

Oh quit it, u urself or someone in your family probably harvested more than one clam even though you knew it was illegal.

Anonymous said...

Okay, she might have a fault. I do believe that ignorance is not an excuse but to drive into something like this would be wrong.
I'm sure there are other fishing boats out there catching a small shark and releasing it after removing the hook.
And for you to post this would be very shameful. TOURISTS actually go there to enjoy and to discover new things, and if you make the title of this article like this, who would like to go visit there?
Yes, small islands, and as much as we are small we are dependent on tourism. Just saying
No offense

charm said...

Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
Your reason again bitch?
lets put it in this way..
I saw you in a car accident but before helping you, I will first take a selfie because its my first time to see a korean lady in a car accident. will that do? make sense?
and what are you doing with the clam? are you trying to save it too?

Anonymous said...

The tourist is the one who should be blamed. GET YOUR SH** TOGETHER..END OF DISCUSSION !!

Anonymous said...

It would be the responsibility of the captain and crew to know the laws of the waters. I'd be having a hard time to memorize all laws existing whilst traveling to many countries ...

Tourist is part to blame for the use of social media.
It isn't entirely her fault - the captain and crew should be more educated about this hence they should have informed her of the harm she does. Do they have no fault at all for showing vulnerability of an uninformed tourist?

Anonymous said...

So stupid. Aint no REAL journalists in their right minds would begin their article with words such as "Bad Korean" .......this article is bullshit. And so are you idiots who are so quick to talk shit about something you knew nothing about before y'all read this garbage.

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Panzer Blitz said...

Koreans need to be taught a lesson about conservation. Like most of modern Asia they destroy ecosystems for their selfish immoral fads. And they need to be taught a lesson in compassion for the horrors they inflict on dogs and other pets. Asia is a nightmare of these kinds of people.

Charlie Noble said...

BAD KOREAN TOURIST, huh?.... to the person who wrote this crap you call a "News Article" .... F-U! Bullsh** and bigotry. This woman did not do amything wrong. Take a look @ all these ignorant folks and their comments. They aren't even on the shark issue, they're sh** talking about Koreans and other Asians. Shark Defenders, huh? I bet most of yall dropping negative comments don't even know where Palau is. Palau welcomes visitors from around the world but they certainly do not need any assistance from outsiders like these so called "Shark Defenders"

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