Sunday, January 23, 2011

10 Scuba Diving Sites in Thailand Recommended for Closure

The recommendation comes from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) concerning 10 dive sites inside marine national parks in order to aid in the recovery of damaged coral reefs.

However, the final decision would still rest with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).

The sites are Hin Klang off Phi Phi, Mae Yai Tai Peninsula off North Surin Island, the area to the east of South Surin Island, Chong Khad Bay off North Surin Island, Kangkao and Pai Islands in Chon Buri, Yak Island in Trat, Chaloke Ban Kao Bay, Tanod Bay and Surat Thani's Nuansai Beach.

"The coral reefs in these areas have been severely damaged," DMCR director-general Kasemsan Jinnawaso told the press yesterday, adding that he would ask the chiefs of all 26 marine national parks to keep an eye on tourists' activities that could hurt the local environment.

The final decision still lies in the hands of the DNP, he said.

"Closing diving attractions in the Andaman Sea could affect tourism in the area," Kasemsan said.

Continue reading...

Of course, not allowing damaged reefs to recover -- or failing to protect them in the first place -- could also affect tourism in the long run.

Hopefully the DNP makes the right decision and also takes a good look at ways to prevent damage from occurring in the future.

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