Connect with us


Officials table banning destructive diving practice



PHUKET: Authorities are looking to ban destructive dive practices that have been developed on Phi Phi Island to cater to mass tourism.

Officials are specifically looking to ban a practice they are calling ‘Try Diving’.

“In this case, ‘Try Diving’ is where people with no dive experience at all are brought to a shallow reef to walk around and see the marine life. There were companies on the island that just give the tourists rubber clogs to walk on the delicate coral reef and allow them to handle the wildlife,” Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a member of the National Reform Council (NRC) and a professor at Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries, told the Phuket Gazette today.

“The ban wouldn’t be for those seriously wanting to learn about scuba diving and the underwater world. Of course, legitimate operations can still offer Discover Scuba courses and open water courses.”

The ban was tabled by Dr Thon after officials had to chase off five ‘try dive’ boats moored near the protected reef in Ton Sai Bay on Friday. After being ordered off their spots on the reef – where they have been stationed for the past three years – all five moved just 500 meters from the reef. The boats were named Dive Dream, World Dive, Lok Tai Talay, OK Dive and Sea Angel.

The Gazette was unable to reach the other four companies for a comment. However, the manager of Sea Angel explained that his company was more than willing to comply with the enforcement of the rules.

“We have no problems. We have our business and only do what is allowed,” Somporn Aksornsri said. “However, the public should be aware that we do not allow tourists to touch the marine life or walk on the coral reef. We have staff on site with them to prevent them from doing so. Nonetheless, we will remind our staff that such practices have no place in our business.”

The kind of diving being conducted by the companies is really no different from sea-walking, Dr Thon said.

“The only difference is that sea-walking is illegal in national parks. We will see what we can do to ban these sort of destructive practices from all national park waters in Thailand.”

Most of the coral in the area where the boats were moored was completely destroyed, Dr Thon said.

“This is all wrong. In just one day, I have managed to chase these boats off the reef after they have been destroying our national park for years. Let’s see what else I can do,” Dr Thon said. “I’m from Bangkok. I have no vested interest in the tourism here. The sea is mine: it belonged to my great grandparents and will belong to my great grandchildren. Everyone must come together to preserve this incredible natural resource.”

— Chutharat Plerin


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:

Sporting Activities6 mins ago

Asian Winter Games 2029 to be held in Saudi Arabian futuristic city

Hot News34 mins ago

China warns US with display of aircraft killer nuclear missiles

World14 hours ago

Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week

Sponsored3 mins ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Thailand15 hours ago

Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure

Bangkok15 hours ago

Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of15 hours ago

Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world

Thailand15 hours ago

Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai

Pattaya16 hours ago

Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival

Thailand16 hours ago

Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand

Tourism16 hours ago

British Embassy Bangkok to hold a conference on tourism safety and security

Thailand16 hours ago

Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son

Expats16 hours ago

Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities

Thailand16 hours ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand17 hours ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years 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