Phuket conservationists butt heads with locals on coral reef

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Conservationists are fighting to stop a bay being dredged in Ao Kung in Pa Khlok, on Phuket’s east coast, as they say it will damage nearby coral reefs. A former village headman says the bay needs to be dredged because fishing boats have a hard time getting to the port at low tide. At a meeting with representatives of local government offices, and about 180 local residents, the majority voted to dredge the bay. But the leader of the Baan Ao Kung Mangrove Forest Conservation Group said the meeting was “truly unfair to stakeholders.”

Yesterday, the leader submitted an objection to the meeting’s outcome. The former village headman acknowledged the group’s concern, and said the authorities’ examination of areal photos showed the environment and nearby mangrove forests wouldn’t be impacted. The headman said, “There have been several rounds of hearings of public opinions in which the majority agreed to take action. Therefore, the Marine Department should now conduct the dredging.”

Ao Kung has so much coral that it’s sometimes called “Coral Island.” Many visitors have posted photos of all the coral they’ve seen during low tide. In 2018, the mangrove conservation group stopped a sports complex from being built at the bay because it was concerned about the environmental impact.


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SOURCE: The Phuket News | The Phuket News | Dreams Time

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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