Similan National Parks

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Similan National Parks

  1. 1. Announced of Mu Ko Similan National Park Subject: Coral Bleaching Phenomenon in National Park AreaThere has recently been widespread coral bleaching in coral reefs in both the AndamanSea and the Gulf of Thailand, an issue to which the department has paid a great deal ofattention. The National Parks Research Division of the National Parks Office has beencontinuously monitoring this phenomenon for a period of time. Coral bleaching may arisefrom various factors: increased water temperatures, increased solar radiation, change insalinity, increases in sedimentation, bacterial infections, and combinations of these factors.However, the main factors causing the current coral bleaching are the combined effects ofglobal warming, which has raised the sea temperature by 1-2 degrees Celsius, andincreases in sunlight intensity. As a result, there is damage to the photosyntheticsymbionts of corals (known as zooxanthellae) which become expelled from the coral host.This process is known as coral bleaching. Coral are significantly weakened by bleachingevents and tend to die in great numbers within 2-3 weeks if the conditions do not return tonormal. Limitation of tourism activities at affected coral reefs will also reduce stress on thecoral and aid in its recovery.The meeting consulted of Department of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation,Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and marine scientists from KasetsartUniversity, Chulalongkorn University, Ramkamhaeng University, Prince of SongklaUniversity and came to a decision to implement site-specific closures of those dive siteswhere coral bleaching affects over 80% of the coral. The closures will help the coral toregenerate from the bleaching which has occurred. Monitoring will continue at all closedsites.Mu Ko Similan National Park was considered to implement site-specific closures of thosedive sites where coral bleaching affects over 80% of the coral. The closures will help thecoral to regenerate from the bleaching which has occurred.There are 2 diving sites that will be closed: 1. Fire Wap Cape (Beacon Reef), Similan Island (8th Island) 2. East of Eden (Orchid House), Payu Island (7th Island)The National Park will remove the mooring buoy or orientation borderline to not allow forall marine activities. Violators will be punished under the National Park Act B.E. 2504,article 18 and article 25: liable to imprisonment not exceeding one month or fine notexceeding 1,000 baht or both of punishment and fine.Announced for all tourism operator have to strictly conduct according to thisannouncement when the situation back to normal the National Park will be announced tothe next occasion. For other areas, the National Park is still open for the tourists asordinarily. Announced on 21, January,2011 (Mr.Parnumart Saamseeniam) Senior Forestry Officer officiate to Head of Mu Ko Similan National Park

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