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Officials Heighten Coral Bleaching Surveillance Across 19 National Parks

Officials have intensified monitoring efforts across 19 national parks along the Thai Gulf and Andaman Sea coasts, ordering special vigilance at three key sites: Hat Wanakon, Sirinat, and the Chumphon Islands group. The move comes after reports surfaced regarding coral bleaching incidents in these areas, prompting the closure of tourist attractions at Ko Pling temporarily.

On May 9, 2024, Mr. Attapol Charoenchansa, the Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, revealed that surveys had been conducted to track coral bleaching within the marine national parks. The reports were compiled by park officials and operation center heads from Centers 1 to 5.

Coral bleaching occurs due to abnormal marine environmental conditions, such as warm sea temperatures, oil spills, sedimentation on corals, or prolonged exposure to low tides. This stress leads corals to expel their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae), resulting in a loss of color and turning them white. If this persists for 2-3 weeks, the corals die.

According to Mr. Attapol, 19 marine national parks experienced coral bleaching between April 2 and May 8, 2024. These parks, comprising eight along the Gulf of Thailand and eleven along the Andaman Sea, include popular destinations like Mu Koh Chang, Koh Samet, and Koh Tarutao.

Areas requiring special monitoring, with over 50% coral bleaching, include Hat Wanakon, where coral bleaching exceeds 80%, and Sirinat, where Ko Pling sees over 80% bleaching (tourist sites closed). In addition, at Chumphon Islands, Ko Kram and Ko Ngam Noi show over 70% bleaching, and Ko Ngam Yai shows over 60% bleaching. Therefore, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation has announced temporary closures of tourist attractions to minimize activities that may accelerate coral bleaching until the situation improves.

The recent announcement includes the temporary closure of tourist attractions at Ko Pling and surrounding coral reefs in Sirinat National Park, Phuket Province.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://locality.guide
Provider of news and content to Heaven is Hua Hin

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