Coral reefs off Chon Buri found diseased

PHOTO: Matichon Online

There’s been some unfortunate news for all the ocean lovers out there. Coral reefs off Chon Buri’s Sattahip district and the Samae San island have this month been found to have yellow-band disease.

The disease attacks and kills colonies of coral, according to the director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. Yellow-band disease occurs when coral gets stressed from pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

The disease is contagious, spreading from one coral to another. The marine department has worked with the Naval Division 1 and other agencies to separate infected corals from non-infected corals, The Pattaya News reported.

However, The marine department’s director-general Attaphon Charoenchansa said the department stil hasn’t had luck in pinpointing the exact cause of the recent outbreak. He urged Sattahip residents, tourists, or divers who stumble upon infected corals to dial 1362. The line is manned 24 hrs.

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Coral reefs across the globe are under threat. Since 1997, high sea temperatures have caused bleaching in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, including in its marine park. In March this year, marine park authorities said the bleaching was “widespread” across multiple regions, ranging from minor to severe.

In Pattaya, officials have installed artificial reefs as homes for marine critters, since coral reefs there have been especially damaged by people walking in them.

Will Chon Buri officials be able to preserve the coral reefs off Sattahip and Samae San? We’ll have to wait and see.

Pattaya News

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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