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Hands off Maya Bay

The Thaiger & The Nation



Hands off Maya Bay | The Thaiger

In one corner, marine scientists and biologists who are urging the government to keep Maya Bay closed as it struggles to rehabilitate following years of tourism abuse. In the other, local tour operators who say that the region’s main money-spinner has been taken away from them affecting their pockets and the many people they employ.

Meanwhile Maya Bay is slowly recovering without the visit of 5,000 tourists and boats every day.

Marine ecologists are asking the tourism sector to desist from pressuring authorities for an early reopening of the world-renowned Maya Bay to help ensure a proper rehabilitation process.

But local tour operators, affected by the closure, will meet tomorrow to discuss their next move as the peak tourism season draws near. The pressure on authorities to re-open the tourist magnet is intense.

On September 28, the National Parks Department issued an order for indefinite closure of Maya Bay in order to allow more time for damaged coral reefs to recover.

Experts say the four-month closure of Maya Bay was insufficient for rehabilitation due to the popular site’s fragile ecosystem.

Assistant Professor Datchanee Emphandhu of the Forestry Faculty of Kasetsart University, said Maya was like a seriously ill patient who needs more time to recover. Rushing to reopen the place would result in the likely collapse of its ecosystem.

“The damage could be irreversible.”

She was speaking in response to a call by tour companies in the area to reopen the destination once the tourism industry enters the high season later this year.

On September 28, an official announcement was made in the Royal Gazette about the indefinite closure of Maya Bay from October 1, after the previous closure order was supposed to end on September 30.

One of the world’s most-visited tourist destinations, made popular by the Hollywood movie “The Beach”, Maya Bay’s limited 30-rai (4.8 hectares) area, attracts about 5,000 tourists per day on average, or between 1.5-2 million visitors per year.

The National Parks Department, after holding consultations with its advisers and marine experts, said earlier that Maya Bay had been seriously environmentally degraded because of overcrowding.

The department has allowed boats to bring tourists to watch Maya only from a distance while officials work on rehabilitating the area and its fragile ecosystem, including the damaged coral reefs that need more time to regrow.

Marine ecologist, Sak-anan Plathong, from Prince of Songkla University, suggested that the department ensure protection of the fragile ecosystem at Maya Bay and prevent further disturbance to the fragile beach forests inside the nearby island.

“An elevated boardwalk over the fragile sand and forests should be built to help reduce pressure on the ecosystem. If there is going to be a reopening of the beach, it should be delayed beyond the high tourist season, maybe a month or two after the season.”

“In addition, the beach should be given one or two days’ break per week to allow natural replenishment of sand on the beach.”

The number of visitors, he added, should also be restricted.

Assistant Professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat posted on Facebook that the front of the bay should be off limits forever to allow corals to rehabilitate and regrow otherwise all the efforts invested now would become useless.

National Parks Office chief Songtham Suksawang said the department wishes to see the bay’s ecosystem fully rehabilitated before it decides to reopen the bay to tourists again.\

The department is in the process of procuring projects to build a boardwalk and a new floating pier at the back of the island so that coral reefs at the front of the beach will not be disturbed. The department has also commissioned four universities to conduct research on the appropriate number of tourists who should be allowed to visit six popular beach destinations in Thailand: Samet islands in Rayong province; Surin, Similan and Tapoo islands in Phang Nga province; Chang island in Trat province; and Lanta island in Krabi.

Hands off Maya Bay | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Krabi. Or catch up on your Thailand news.


PM visits Finnish boy attacked by dogs in Krabi

Kritsada Mueanhawong



PM visits Finnish boy attacked by dogs in Krabi | The Thaiger

Thailand PM Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday paid a visit to a five year old Finnish boy who was attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nong beach on Wednesday late afternoon.

Read more about the attack HERE.

The young Finnish boy, savaged by a pack of dogs living on the beach, continues to recover at the Krabi Nakarin International Hospital. Krabi’s Governor visited him at the hospital yesterday to present gifts and meet the boy’s father. The boy is recovering well according to doctors.

Krabi Livestock officials went to Ao Nang Beach to catch the stray dogs that have been bothering some tourists recently, according to reports.

And then yesterday afternoon, during a scheduled visit to Krabi and Samui, the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha also took time out of his schedule to visit the boy at the hospital.

The PM thanked locals and foreign tourists who helped the boy immediately after the attacks and urged people to do not feed stray dogs.

PM visits Finnish boy attacked by dogs in Krabi | News by The Thaiger

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Five year old Finnish boy mauled by dogs at Krabi Beach

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Five year old Finnish boy mauled by dogs at Krabi Beach | The Thaiger

A five year old Finnish boy has been seriously injured after being attacked and mauled by a pack of dogs at Ao Nang Beach in Krabi.

Rescue workers at Ao Nang were notified of the incident at 6.30 last night. Rescue workers arrived to find the Finnish boy in distress and crying out with pain.

The boy’s father was already carrying boy from the beach seeking help. Bite wounds were found all over the boy’s body. He was taken to Krabi Nakarin International Hospital.

The boy’s father says he and his two children were heading up from the beach when about 5 dogs started attacking his five year old son. Locals ran to help and chased the dogs away.

One of beach vendors says that dogs have been biting many tourists at the beach. Most of them are children aged around 4 – 8 year old.

A seven year old boy was seriously injured after being attacked and mauled by a group of dogs near Sarasin Bridge in Phang Nga last month.

Read more about that attack HERE.

Five year old Finnish boy mauled by dogs at Krabi Beach | News by The Thaiger Five year old Finnish boy mauled by dogs at Krabi Beach | News by The Thaiger



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Baby Risso’s Dolphin rescued at Railay Beach in Krabi

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Baby Risso’s Dolphin rescued at Railay Beach in Krabi | The Thaiger


A baby Risso’s Dolphin has been rescued after being found on Railay Beach in Krabi on Sunday.

Officials at the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) were notified that the baby dolphin was found of the east end of Railay Beach.

The DMCR says that the species is a baby Risso’s dolphin. This one is 250 centimetres long and weighs about 100 kilograms. The dolphin was weak and unable to swim by itself.

Wounds have been found around its head which marine staff believe was caused from being battered as it washed up onto the beach by waves.

The dolphin was taken to the Phuket Marine Biology Centre (PMBC) where it’s receiving love, attention and further treatment.

Risso’s dolphin is the only species of dolphin in the genus Grampus. It is commonly known as the Monk dolphin among Taiwanese fishermen. Some of the closest related species to these dolphins include: pilot whales, pygmy killer whales, melon-headed whales, and false killer whales.

Baby Risso's Dolphin rescued at Railay Beach in Krabi | News by The Thaiger

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