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New artificial reef to be sunk off Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: An artificial reef project in Karon Bay has been given the final nod of approval, its second public hearing on September 29 passing without objection.

The placement of hollow cubic structures made of concrete on the sea floor is set to begin in mid-2011.

The hearing, held at the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) office, was chaired by Karon Deputy Mayor Sompong Darbpetch.

The 10-million-baht budget for the project was approved in August.

The work will see between 1,600 and 1,800 of the concrete forms dropped about 3,000 meters from the shoreline, DMCR officer Prajuab Mokharat said.

This project is similar to, but larger than the one off Mai Khao last March.

In addition to serving as a base for coral growth, the reef is also intended to mark the start of the 3,000-meter fishing exclusion zone. It will also serve to increase the number of dive spots in waters off Karon Bay.

At the hearing, residents had no objection to the project, but said they would like to see more plans detailing the exact location of the new reef. They want to participate in choosing the design and location as a way of best preventing trawling in Karon Bay.

The DMCR has offered to set up a group comprising their officers, Karon Municipality representatives, dive tour operators and local residents to decide the best location for the new reef.

The team is expected to begin work this month.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

 

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