Ao Maya locals request harbor closure to conserve marine resources

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KRABI – The local people and tourism entrepreneurs of Ao Maya Harbor in the Phi Phi Islands have requested the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to temporarily close off the Maya bay until marine resources recover from activities related to tourism. The closure is expected to begin by early 2017.

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Kasetsat University’s Faculty of Fisheries Deputy Dean and the assistant to the DNP Thon Thamrongnawasawat has said locals of Ao Maya Harbour have requested to the DNP to declare the harbor to be closed.

Ao Maya Harbor is the key tourism attraction of Phi Phi Islands, which generates a daily revenue of about 1.7 million baht. But as of recently, the tourist hot spot has suffered heavily from over-usage, vastly affecting marine and coastal resources.

The closure of harbor will allow marine resources to recover from man-made activities, and from boasts stirring up dregs on seafloor which has affected the coral reefs.

The DNP is now studying the effects of the harbor’s closure and will be designating alternative tourism attractions to accommodate tourists’ demands. The DNP is planning to announce the temporary closure of the area in rotation with three other beaches in a 3-4 month period. The closure, along with new tourist boat regulations is expected to be implemented by early 2017.