Led by DMCR Director, Khun Pitoon Panchaipum, the private-public dive collaborative installed the reefs on February 27 and 28, with an aim of increasing the coral life off this island that is endangered according to recent surveys pointing to various global-scale threats, including ocean acidification and warming, and stronger and more frequent storms that are thought to be brought on as a result of climate change.
In hopes of enabling the reefs to better withstand such global pressures, the team is also hoping to tackle the issue at the local scale, by working with the locals to address additional human threats such as water pollution, destructive fishing and unsustainable tourism.
In areas with high-volume tourism, repeated direct contact with the reef poses an immediate threat. Hundreds of boat groundings and thousands of tourist interactions each year reduce sections of coral reef to rubble. Human contact also reduces coral colonies’ ability to cope with rising sea temperatures and diseases.