Connect with us

Phuket

Maya Bay tourist ban proposed to save marine life

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Maya Bay could be closed next month to help save marine life.

The closure of the popular tourist spot in Phi Phi National Park was proposed by marine experts as a preventative measure to help restore bleached coral and other marine life.

“Currently, sea temperature is very high, and it’s expected to continue increasing from about 30.5 to about 33 Celsius,” said marine expert Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat. “The coral bleaching has started to attack many spots, both in the Andaman and the Gulf of Thailand.”

Coral bleaching occurs when the symbiotic algae that lives in coral leaves, making the coral more susceptible to dying.

“This is the first time we’ve been proactive to coral bleaching,” Dr Thon said. “We’re closing the island before it’s too late, not like in 2010, when we closed the island after everything was already gone.”

Dr Thon said the closures have already begun on Koh Yoong. Other islands may also be closed.

“We expect to close those spots by next month, depending on the sea temperature,” he said. “We’ll see what happens next week.”

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Karnjanarat said he agreed with restorative closure of the islands.

“If we close the island, people can’t come in and disturb the marine life, and we’ll have more time to get that restoration work done,” Gen Surasak said. “It’s not a question of money. Everything needs to be within a sustainable balance.”

Gen Surasak said he was also concerned over the wastewater management on Koh Phi Phi Leh, and that closing Maya Bay would not be enough if waste is allowed to continue discharging into the sea.

In March, Deputy Prime Minister Adm Narong Pipatanasai also visited the island to review a multi-million baht budget that would plug the free flow of untreated wastewater into the marine park. However, that budget has not been approved or rejected yet (story here).

“The government needs to reconsider the proposal and approve the budget for the wastewater treatment in Phi Phi, otherwise closing the island will not help,” Gen Surasak said.

Dr Thon also said that the government needs to crack down on illegal fishing and damage to marine life caused by tourists.

“I have requested that the ministry reconsider the fine be raised for catching or damaging marine life,” he said. “A fine of 500 baht won’t scare the tourists away, or affect the operators.”

“National parks officers cannot do it alone,” Dr Thon said. “We have to train members of the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) and their officers and operators on how to protect our marine life.”

Dr Thon said he has submitted a proposal to the ministry and is waiting for it to be approved.

“We need to help each other take care of our sea. Coral bleaching is natural phenomena, but restoring them is our job.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Press Room41 mins ago

Southeast Asia’s sauciest tech event, Techsauce Global Summit to return to Bangkok in physical form

Thailand41 mins ago

Thailand & China fighter jets take off on Falcon Strike drills

Pattaya45 mins ago

Fans flock to free entry Pattaya Music Festival held every weekend of August

Sponsored5 hours ago

Enjoy a splashing time and immerse yourself in Thai Mythology in Andamanda Phuket

Road deaths2 hours ago

Innocent woman killed after high-speed race near Bangkok

Crime3 hours ago

Police raid Chinese porn studio in Chon Buri, 4 arrested

Bangkok4 hours ago

Blaze at US office near German Embassy in Bangkok

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Expats4 hours ago

Aussie man plunges to death from 17th floor of Pattaya hotel

Thailand4 hours ago

More details emerge on Deadly Fire in NightClub | GMT

Chon Buri18 hours ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Chon Buri18 hours ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand20 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

North East20 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand20 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

North East20 hours ago

10 year old killed & 5 injured after pickup hits motorbike sidecar

Crime21 hours ago

Court releases Mountain B owner on bail for 300k baht following fire in eastern Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending