The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) issued announcement to protect coral reefs and rocky reefs in several provinces with control over activities that pose threat to coral reef.
Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said the orders have been already put into effect.
He said underwater surveys found plastic waste, fishing nets that destroy coral reefs. Payam Island, dubbed Maldives of Thailand in Ranong, Losin Island in Pattani, Dokmai Island in Phang-nga and Kong Hin Daeng or underwater rocks in Krabi must be restored urgently.
DMCR director-general said that the orders ban anchoring on the reef, feeding marine animals to lure or catch them, collecting marine animals and dumping waste into the sea. Any activities that causes diffusion of sediment on the seabed, affecting coral reefs and sea grass is not permitted.
Rocky reefs, the country’s major dive sites have been damaged by fishing activity, so the department bans all kinds of fishing activities at several rocky reefs in Surat Thani, Pattani, Phang-nga and Krabi except for doing researches for conservation, which must seek permission from the DMCR director-general.
Violators face a maximum of one year jail term and/or a fine of 100,000 baht. (TNA)