Phuket Wan Tourism News reports that seven coral reef sites off Phuket and the Andaman Coast will be closed to divers from Friday 21 January 2011, with the intention of keeping the sites closed for up to five years. The closures are in response to the coral damage caused by the bleaching episodes during 2010. The penalties for diving on the closed sites include a penalty of between 1000 baht and 10,000 baht.
The specific sites affected by the closures are:
- Phang Nga province - Mo Koh Surin Island, Ao Sutep, Ao Mai Ngam, Koh Ster, Ao Pakkard; Mo Koh Similan, East of Eden, Ao Faiwab.
- Krabi province - Nopparat Thara Park, Phi Phi, Hin Klang.
- Satun province - Hat Chao Mai National Park, Koh Cher; Mu Ko Phetra National Park, Koh Bulon Mai Pai, Koh Bulon Don; Koh Tarutao National Park, Kohtakiang, Koh Hin Ngam, Koh Rawi, Koh Dong.
- Chumporn province - At Mo Koh Chumporn, Koh Maprao.