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Phuket beach floating jetty investigated for causing coral damage

PHUKET: Local marine conservation officials are investigating whether a floating jetty at Kamala Beach will have to be removed for possibly causing damage to more than 600 square metres of corals.

marineenvironmentnatural-resourcesconstructiontourism
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 3 November 2016, 12:47PM


The jetty is more than 190 metres long, and at low tide the floating structure rests on the seabed immediately offshore, explained Marine Ecology Chief Dr Nalinee Thongtam of the “Sixth Marine and Coastal Resource Administration” office Phuket.

“We surveyed the area and learned that the jetty is more than 190 metres long and when the tide is low the jetty sinks to the bottom on top of the coral,” Dr Nalinee said.

“At high tide, the anchor points that hold the jetty in place by rope may move when there are strong waves, and any movement of these anchor points will damage coral,” she added.

“We estimate the damage under the jetty to cover about 600sqm, which is a lot of damage. Even though some areas are only dead corals that look like rocks, if these corals were damaged by the jetty, we will hold the ‘owner’ (sic) of the jetty because these dead corals are also our natural resources,” she explained.

The “owner of the jetty” Dr Nalinee referred to is a local hotel which requested – and received – permission to install the floating jetty.

The hotel also paid for the jetty and hired a contractor to install it, as it would like its guests to use it to access the hotel, Phuket Marine Office Director Surat Sirisaiyad told The Phuket News yesterday (Nov 2).

“The hotel requested to have a jetty there and we issued them a permit,” he said.

“But we also told them to be aware of other regulations, such as marine environment and wildlife preservation laws. We told hotel management last month to stop installing due to environmental risk, but they want to wait for DMCR officials to inspect the area first,” Mr Surat said.

“Today (Nov 2) we held a meeting with officials to discuss this issue, and I will now issue them a notice to remove the structure,” he added.

Regardless, Suchart Rattanariangsri, Director of the DMCR’s Marine Resource Conservation Division at the Sixth Marine Coastal Resources Administration Office (Phuket), is adamant his office will file charges against the hotel – despite the Phuket Marine Office issuing a permit.

“The Phuket Marine Office gave the hotel a permit to build the jetty, but told the builder to check on other law and requirements before installing the floats, which I don’t think they did,” he said.

“There are so many laws regarding building structures into the water,” he added.

Mr Suchart said he would wait for the Phuket Marine Biology Centre (PMBC) to conclude their assessment of damage to the coral at the site before filing charges under the Marine and Coastal Resources Management Act (2015).

“Right now we think they broke Regulation 4 of Section 16 (of the Act), which prohibits anyone to build, seize or own anything that will damage marine and coastal natural resources,” Mr Suchart said.

We will also enforce Section 26 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 1992, which prohibits anyone to hunt or poach endangered species or protected wild animals except government,” he said.

 

 

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samantha | 05 November 2016 - 11:58:08

Sounds like Dr Nalinee Thongtam see's an opportunity to try and get compensation.

Kurt | 04 November 2016 - 12:07:48

The cherry on the pudding is the remark:
..."dead corals are also our natural resources"...

Guess we have to read it as:
.. " Dead corals are here also our money resources"...

Pinot | 03 November 2016 - 20:08:08

I agree with Kurt below...Why? The environment is of no concern to anyone in politics in Phuket. That's why there are 4000 new condos coming online in Kamala. This at a time where there is an enormous property bubble. Water, sewage and trash are completely overwhelmed already. In any western country there would be a building moratorium. Not in Phuket! Just more building and complete disregard ...

Ed Sanders | 03 November 2016 - 18:36:10

I would love to see the typical finger pointing picture with all the departments that are involved in this fiasco.  I could see the Marine Ecology Chief pointing at the Sixth Marine and Coastal Resource Administration, who are then pointing at the Phuket Marine Office Director, who is pointing at the Marine Resource Conservation Division, who is pointing at the Phuket Marine Biology Centre guy,......

Kurt | 03 November 2016 - 14:12:58

What a complete 'authority' mess! Unbelievable.
-- Everything the marine Ecological Dept explained they knew that in advance. Reason not even have started that construction!
--The hotel got a permit from authorities to build the jetty, so is not responsible for the 'damage'.
If there is any damage, as Kamala is well known about flushing untreated urine, faeces, laundry and guest...

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