Sirachai Arunrugstichai

6x6 Talent: Southeast Asia and Oceania
Sirachai Arunrugstichai, Thailand

"Sirachai’s work focuses on the correlation between humans and nature to understand how we can sustainably utilise marine resources while also preserving ecological function and biodiversity in the long run. He believes that conservation photography is not only about pretty pictures, but the picture of the problems that have been going on, such as pollution or climate change". - Neo Ntsoma, photojournalism trainer and photographer at Neo Ntsoma Productions and 6x6 nominator, South Africa

With Sirachai Arunrugstichai’s background in marine biology, he originally picked up photography as a tool to document biodiversity in coral reefs, while working as a field researcher. Arunrugstichai is currently a freelance assignment photographer for National Geographic magazine (Thai Edition) and has been working with several conservation organizations, such as WildAid and Greenpeace Southeast Asia, and the Department of Marine & Coastal Resources of Thailand on marine conservation issues.

Sharks: Predators in Peril

Sharks, as apex predators, have an important role in keeping the dynamic of the community in marine ecosystems in balance. The global decline of sharks from the world’s oceans has been recognised as of significant environmental concern, with studies showing that numerous shark populations have suffered massive declines around the world in the past two decades, primarily from overfishing. Despite the global awareness and movement for conservation, sharks still face ongoing overexploitation. Effective strategies to sustainably manage the fisheries are also being hindered from lack of information in the majority of shark fishing nations, including Thailand. This story portrays various aspects of fisheries and conservation issues of sharks in Thai waters, which exhibited several concerning trends, in order to gain more attention for the dire situation faced by the marine predators in this region.

See Sirachai Arunrugstichai's 'Sharks: Predators in Peril' on Witness, World Press Photo's online magazine.

Pakbara: at a crossroads

Pakbara is a sleepy fishing village at the Southernmost tip of the Andaman coast of Thailand. The village is generally known as the gateway to other more well-known tourist destinations, and therefore there has been very limited coastal development in the area until now. At present time, there is a plan proposed by the Thai government agencies to develop a large-scale deepwater port at Pakbara, which is promised to improve logistics, and the import-export industries of the nation. However, the plan is being strongly opposed by the local community, since the cost of this development could be an ecological disaster to the southern Andaman sea of Thailand. This could greatly impact the livelihood of the coastal communities and high-value nature-based industries in the adjacent waters. This story aims to portray the natural richness and livelihood around the coast of Pakbara, which would be impacted by the deepwater port.

Discover work by the 6x6 Southeast Asia and Oceania talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.