Phuket

Phuket park officials set “no go’ zone to protect new reef

PHUKET: Officers at Sirinath National Park yesterday began installing floating markers off Nai Yang Beach to protect a young reef system discovered only last month.

The markers are to establish an exclusion zone preventing swimmers and boats from entering the area, explained deputy park chief Neramit Songsaeng.

“Officers from the Phuket Marine National Parks and Protected Areas Innovation Center arrived to inspect the area last month, and found a multitude of coral frags that urgently needed protection,” he said.

The “no go” zone covers about 10 rai from right in front of Sirinath National Park main office on Nai Yang Beach, just south of Phuket International Airport, to Koh Pling, which lies directly offshore.

“The markers are to prevent tourists from swimming inside the area, and to prevent boats from dropping anchors onto the corals.” said Mr Neramit.

“We have already posted signs on the island to prevent tourists from entering the area from over there.”

Officers at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) have been contacted to provide long-term support to protect the reef, Mr Neramit added.

“We have asked the DNP to provide us with more officers so we can keep a close eye on that protected area,” he explained.

“We also requested the DNP to send experts to appraise the protection measures taken. Such experts might find better ways to protect the reef.

“If the corals grow well, the reef will become a new attraction for snorkeling and diving.” he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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