Coral, sea grass and marine rock formations in Thailand’s southern provinces now protected
Effective Wednesday, sea grass, coral reefs and undersea rock formations in four southern coastal provinces of Thailand are legally protected and violators will face one-year in prison and/or a maximum fine of 100,000 baht.
According to the two orders, issued by virtue of the Marine and Coastal Resources Management Promotion Act, sea grass, coral reefs and marinea rock formations off Payam Island in Ranong province and rock formations off Surat Thani, Pattani, Phang-nga an Krabi provinces, which are popular diving sites, have come under protection.
Dropping of anchors by boats, feeding and catching of marine life and dumping of garbage in these areas are prohibited.
Mr. Chatuporn Burutpattana, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, disclosed that, of about 23,840 hectares of coral reefs in the seas of Thailand, only 5.7% are in perfect condition, while the rest have been damaged by humans, adding that if these small patches of coral reef are not protected now, the seas around Thailand’s coasts will become barren and devoid of any natural beauty.
Payam Island in Ranong province, he said, has been dubbed Thailand’s Maldives for its rich coral reefs and sea grass.