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Phuket’s Tritrang Beach gains artificial reef

PHUKET: Phuket officials today (Apr 22) placed 120 concrete blocks off the coast of Tritrang Beach at the south end of Patong which they hope within five years be a flourishing coral reef covering an area close to two rai.

marine, natural-resources, environment, tourism, animals, patong,

The Phuket News

Friday 22 April 2016, 06:21PM

Officials look on as part of the artificial reef is lowered into the sea. Photo: PR Dept
Officials look on as part of the artificial reef is lowered into the sea. Photo: PR Dept

Kathu District chief Sayan Chanachaiwong along with Royal Thai Navy Deputy Chief of Staff Capt Kitti Yoskrai, Emerald Bay Company Directing Manager Mr Trikhwan Boonnak, Director of Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation Centre Phuket office Mr Paitoon Panchaiphumi and other officials gathered at Tritrang Beach to join today to watch as the blocks were placed into the sea.

“The newly laid artificial reef will attract tourists and increase income for local people, at the same time it will help to revive marine resources,” said Mr Paitoon.

“In the past, Patong Bay was well known for its beautiful and abundant coral reef which is the core of the marine ecosystem. The reef was a place for marine animals to lay eggs, take refuge and care for their young. It was also a place to fish and attract tourists,” he added.

He continued: “We used to have a lot of tourists visit the area and create more income for local people, especially along the Tritrang reef which covered about 500 rai. Marine animals were abundant and fishermen were happy.”

However, Mr Paitoon pointed out that today the coral reefs in this area have gone.

“The numbers of marine animals in this area has also decreased as the reef has been ruined by global warming, coral bleaching, increasing numbers of crown-of-thorns starfish which feed on coral, but worse of all it was ruined by the 2004 Tsunami, debris from construction sites and water pollution released into the sea,” he said.

The NAKA Island

Mr Paitoon went on to explain that with the help of Emerald Bay Villa Co and Emerald Resort and Spa who have tourism business in Patong they have managed to place the artificial reef project.

“The total cost for this project is B1.2 million. It was launched last year with many activities including removing the ruined coral, cleaning them and returning them to the sea to create the foundation for the new artificial reef,” he said.

“We had divers picking up rubbish and workers setting up mooring buoys. Last year we planted 150 cubes of artificial reef in one rai and today we have added another 120 block of artificial reef to the rest of the area.

“We will continue with this project and add more artificial reef to the area, within five years we will fully recover the marine ecosystem of Tritrang Beach,” he concluded.

Mr Paitoon also thanked Nakorn Luang Concrete Co Ldt Phuket branch who donated the blocks tro be used for the artificial reef.



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    Forget password? | 23 April 2016 - 21:24:43

This project is an unauthorized version of Reef Balls that are copyrighted internationally by the Reef Ball Foundation that has done much charitable work in Thailand.  It is sad the Navy would break international laws.

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Kurt | 23 April 2016 - 11:59:08

A new created artificial reef setting should be left alone for many years in order to become what the authorities have in mind.

However, guess that is wish full thinking as I red twice:.."and increase income for local people".., and .." create more income for local people"..

Are the local people told to stay away from that area for at least 10 years?

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Richard Vickers | 23 April 2016 - 00:47:29

"...within five years we will fully recover the marine ecosystem of Tritrang Beach,”.  Just a tad optimistic there Khun Paitoon. A healthy coral reef that took thousands of years to establish itself will not be good as new in 5 years, especially as soon as greedy dive operators start marching Chinese tourists over it 1,000 times a day.  Still a good project though...will be curious to see how it grows. Please keep us posted.

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