“The reasons for coral damage in the Koh Khai area is from the coral-bleaching process, which occurs naturally and from human activity”
People are the worst. Or at least overzealous tourist are, as Thailand’s government has announced that they has been forced to close three of its islands off the coast of Phuket – Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Naiin – because of excessive touristing.
The move is part of an effort to preserve natural resources and save endangered coral reefs and follows the closure just two weeks ago of the famous Koh Tachai island to visitors.
On Wednesday, marine officials said the closures are due to a massive increase in tourism, which has caused irreversible damage to the already endangered coral reef.
“Tour groups spend at least three hours swimming, feeding fish and snorkelling, which severely damages the marine ecosystem, especially on coral reefs,” Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) regional chief Watcharin Na Thalang told Phuket News.
“The reasons for coral damage in the Koh Khai area is from the coral-bleaching process, which occurs naturally and from human activity. This includes the increasing number of tourists, boats that anchor on the corals, people walking on corals while playing in the water, feeding marine animals and catching them to take photos of with them.”