Local Phuket Marine Protected Areas
Thailand have some of the world’s most beautiful waters and as a result she has created 26 marine protected areas. The local Phuket marine protected areas also contain popular scuba diving sites in the waters of the Andaman Sea.
Mu Ko Similan
The most popular for the scuba diving liveaboard vessels is The Similan Islands. The group of nine islands are a continental archipelago in the Andaman Sea off the coast of, and part of, Phang Nga Province. This area is about 100km north of Phuket. It is also the maritime border between India and Thailand. This takes in some of the famous dive sites of Elephant Head Rock, Anita’s reef and Boulder City.
Mu Ko Surin
The Surin Islands north of the Similan islands and is a continental archipelago of five islands. Situated 55 kilometres from the Thai mainland. Administratively, the islands are part of Tambon Ko Phra Thong, Khura Buri district, in Phang Nga province, Thailand. The Surin Islands contain probably Thailand’s most famous dive site, Richelieu Rock.
Hat Nopharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi
The Phi Phi Island lie in the Ao Nang, Sai Thai, and Pak Nam Sub-districts of Amphoe Mueang Krabi, Krabi Province, Thailand. They are a marine national park and were established in 1983. They are also an IUCN Category II protected area with coral reefs, and an area measuring 388 square kilometres. The islands contain the very popular dive site of Koh Bida Nok.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Mu Ko Lanta
Mu Ko Lanta National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติหมู่เกาะลันตา) is a national park in the southern part of Krabi Province, Thailand, consisting of several islands. The area of Mu Ko Lanta National Park is 134 square kilometres. It includesthe famous scuba diving sites of Koh Haa, Hin Deang and Hin Muang.
The Benefits of Marine Protected Areas in Thailand
Thailand’s Marine national parks offer a broad range of benefits, not only for the environment, but also for our society in general. These protected areas play a crucial role in conserving marine ecosystems and biodiversity. communities.
The benefits of Marine Protected Areas for Thailand include;
1. Conservation of Biodiversity:
Protecting Thailand’s marine habitats and ecosystems helps safeguard a wide variety of species, including endangered and threatened ones. Marine national parks can serve as sanctuaries for marine life, allowing populations to thrive and recover. This is especially so for Thailand’s turtles and there are a number of protected Turtles including, Leatherback, Loggerhead, Ridley’s, Green and the Hawksbill.
2. Habitat Preservation:
These parks help preserve critical habitats such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, which are essential for the survival of many Thailand’s marine species. The closure of Maya Bay at Phi Phi Islands saw an immediate return of a large number of Black Tip Reef Sharks.
3. Ecosystem Health:
Healthy marine ecosystems are essential for the overall health of the planet. They contribute to nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and oxygen production, benefiting not only marine life but also global climate regulation.
4. Sustainable Fisheries:
Fishing is a problem in many parts of Asia including Thailand. By protecting certain areas from overfishing and destructive practices. Thailand’s marine marine protected areas can support sustainable fisheries by allowing fish populations to reproduce.
5. Scientific Research:
These protected areas provide opportunities for scientists to study marine ecosystems, monitor changes over time, and develop a better understanding of marine life and their interactions. This research can inform conservation efforts and management strategies.
6. Tourism and Recreation:
Many marine national parks, such as the popular Ko Phi Phi, attract tourists and recreational activities such as snorkeling, diving and boating. These activities can generate revenue for the local Thai communities and support the tourism industry.
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