Officials raise awareness on World Oceans Day in Patong
A Thai official spoke about threats to the country’s oceans at an event marking World Oceans Day yesterday in Patong. Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, led the event titled “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean” at Loma Park in Patong Beach. Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Services hosted similar events in 10 coastal provinces.
Varawut announced that the MNRE is “in the process of accelerating conservation work” for Thailand’s oceans. He listed several threats to the country’s oceans including pollution, deteriorating sea water quality, overfishing, and climate change.
The minister said that all sectors of society are “at the heart of ocean recovery and making that recovery balanced and sustainable”.
Pollution is a major threat to Thailand’s marine wildlife. Fishing nets discarded in the ocean often kill and injure animals such as dolphins and sea turtles.
But it’s not just the fishing industry – Thailand’s world reputation as a tourist destination is another factor in ocean destruction. One wildlife hotspot, Maya Bay, closed for 3 years, and saw a return of several plant and animal species that had disappeared due to tourists overrunning the beach and adjacent areas. Before the closure, boats entering the bay, and anchoring, destroyed much of the natural coral.
At the Patong event, Varawut highlighted that marine resources are important for bringing in income to the island province’s people. Several groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Marine Waste Management. The groups included government agencies, businesses, and local communities.
The groups vowed to cooperate at reducing waste in 5 of Thailand’s rivers, so that less waste gets into the ocean. The 5 rivers are Thailand’s Bang Pakong, Chao Phraya, Tha Chin, Mekong and Bang Tu Poon.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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