Phuket Gazette –
With coral reef systems in Thai coastal waters at a “crisis” level, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) has vowed to step up his department’s efforts to mitigate the damage caused by the fishing industry and other human factors.
“Currently, our natural coral reefs are not half of what they used to be – we are in a crisis,” said PMBC director Pinsak Suraswadi on Tuesday.
“The areas that have been most seriously affected are those that are regularly exposed to human activity, such as off tourist destinations along the coast,” he added.
Though the entire region is in trouble, the Gulf of Thailand is at greater risk than the Andaman coast, he said.
“Abundant and beautiful coral reefs are now only found in national parks, such as the Surin Island and Similan Island reserves.
In these places the coral is still world class.” “Closing National Parks has definitely been helpful in giving the corals time to recover from the pressure humans exert on the ecosystem,” he said, in reference to the annual closure from May through November.