Thailand: Coral bleaching affects 90 percent of staghorn corals around Koh Thaloo

Thai Visa 25 May 16;

PRACHUAB KHIRI KHAN: — Between 80-90 percent of staghorn corals around Koh Thaloo off Bang Saphan Noi district of Prachuab Khiri Khan have been found to have been affected by bleaching, according to the Siam Marine Rehabilitation Foundation.

The foundation secretary-general Mr Paopipat Charoenpak said Tuesday that coral bleaching had struck both natural staghorn corals as well as corals which were planted by humans and some of them are dying.

He also said that other corals had also been affected as a result of sea warming which began in March and lasted until April. He expressed concern that the widespread coral bleaching around Koh Thaloo might impact on marine resources in the Gulf and tourism activities.

Koh Thaloo is a popular dive site for the rich corals in shallow water of between 2-4 metres deep.

Paopipat disclosed that coral bleaching occurred six years ago at Koh Sing, Koh Sang and Koh Thaloo but some of them have been rehabilitated.

Meawhile, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources attributed coral bleaching to the unusually high temperature of water in the Gulf and the Andaman Sea. Coral bleaching was found in seven area, including Koh Mun Nai off Rayong, Koh Thaloo and Koh Liam off Prachuab Khiri Khan, Koh Khai off Chumporn, Koh Racha Yai, Laem Panwa and Koh Mai Thorn off Phuket.

The department estimated that most of the bleached corals would die within a month.

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