Thailand supposedly protects it's marine parks, unfortunately for various reason this is mostly ineffective. During the low season the parks are officially closed to tourists and the Rangers move out. This leaves the islands at the mercy of the fishing fleets of the west coast.
As Staff on one of the Liveaboards we get to see the aftermath of this unprotected period.
This normally is limited to cutting up any large fishing cages we find sitting anywhere and everywhere on the dive sites and releasing the fish inside.
Unfortunately this year, on top of the usual fish cages we found something far more damaging. Large areas of one of the more beautiful sites, Koh Tachai Plateau, were covered in a huge net. Corals and the fish that live amongst them had been covered in the net for a seemingly long period if time. Much of the coral that was tangled in the net has either been physically broken or has suffocated due to being covered in net blooming with algae.
I have yet to see the site after the various clean ups and I am hoping that the efforts of the crew and customers of a few Similan diving companies have minimised the impact on the dive site.
Follow the link to see more images of our cleanup operation: www.arewedreaming.com
Thailand authorities need to realise the value of what they have and try to find a better way of protecting these marine parks. Please spread the word to help raise awareness of the problems the Similans face.
Thanks for reading,
Edited by ozanners, 03 November 2009 - 12:56 AM.