Thailand: Three islands off Phuket closed to tourists to protect endangered coral reefs

Published on : Friday, May 27, 2016

ThailandAiming towards sustainable development and protecting endangered coral reefs, three islands off Phuket in south Thailand were closed to tourists, China’s Xinhua news agency reported Thai Marine officials as saying on Wednesday.

 
The tiny islands off Phuket’s east coast covering totally 246 rai of coral reefs, namely Koh Khai Nai, Khai Nok and Khai Nui, were shut down with all facilities and structures used for tourist activities since about 80 per cent of coral reefs in the area have been destroyed.
The area has been suffered from coral-bleaching, which does occur naturally but can be exacerbated by human interaction with coral reefs.

 
The islands usher in at least 60 speedboats per day. More and more restaurants and shops settle down in the wake of the arrival of an increasing number of tourists, who often spend at least three hours feeding fish and snorkelling.

 
Meanwhile, other activities include boats anchoring on the corals, people walking on coral while playing in the water, people collecting coral and taking away with them as a trip souvenir, also cause a negative impact on the maritime ecosystem.

 
Local government will send more officials to monitor the tour operators and tourists in these areas to prevent them from engaging in any activities that will damage the coral-reef ecosystems.

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