Pattaya scuba divers remove menacing fishing net covering coral reef

Scuba divers work hard to cut and remove the giant trawling net covering the corals off Koh Man Wichai.

Local maritime officials and dozens of fishermen and scuba divers joined to retrieve a giant fishing net dropped off one of Pattaya’s Far Islands.

Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome dispatched a small flotilla of boats to Koh Man Wichai Island, about a two-hour voyage from Bali Hai Pier. Aboard the boats were 42 volunteer scuba divers overseen by navy Rear Adm. Papon Harnpaiboon, deputy director of Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Center and Chaichan Taechotinkorn, director of Chonburi Natural Resources and Environment Department.

The abandoned trawling net was discovered by tourists diving and taking underwater photos off the small island considered one of the Pattaya area’s best dive sites for marine life.

The net was covering delicate coral reefs, causing damage each day it remained there due to Koh Man Wichai’s constant swift currents.

The beautiful yet fragile corals can be seen trapped underneath the giant fishing net threatening its existence.

The scuba team makes preparations before embarking on the mission to save the corals trapped under a giant fishing net.

Officers inspect the offensive fishing net on board the navy ship.

Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome speaks with naval officers before the launch of the rescue mission.