11 July 2024

Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has been coordinating with numerous agencies to tackle yellow-band disease, which has infected some corals in the Gulf of Thailand, said Atthaphon Charoenchansa, the department’s director-general today (Wednesday).

The disease, which is caused by the Vibrio bacteria, has affected many types of corals, such as staghorn, anemone and cauliflower, in the seas off Trat, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Chon Buri and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces, covering a combined area of about 160 hectares.

Atthaphon said that the disease was first detected last year around the Kham and Sattahip-Samersarn islands and has spread to other areas.

To prevent the disease from spreading even further, divers have removed the infected areas. The disease spreads at a rate of 1-6cm a week and the parts of corals infected by the bacteria will die.

He said that divers from the Royal Thai Navy, the Corals Protection Foundation, the Faculty of Marine Technology at Burapha University and private volunteers have joined forces to separate the infected corals.