Thailand: About 70 per cent of reefs near Trang are hit by bleaching; giant clams to be moved

The Nation 21 May 16;

Serious coral bleaching has been found in Trang. Up to 70 per cent of coral reefs have been affected, so local officials have pledged to take action by closing all diving spots in the province.

Hat Chao Mai Marine National Park chief Manote Wongsureerat said an inspection of reefs within the park on Tuesday with a team from Chulalongkorn University's Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animal Research Centre revealed around 70 per cent of coral near Koh Mook was bleached.

The team said the temperature of seawater was 33 degrees Celsius, while the maximum temperature to sustain healthy coral was around 30 degrees Celsius.

Endangered giant clams in the area were also affected by the very hot water temperature and nearly dead.

Manote said the national park agreed with the team from Chulalongkorn to immediately move the giant clams to a pond, so they could recover, while diving spots in the province will be closed in order to reduce the impact from tourism on the reefs.

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