Marine officers to intensify clean up efforts at Koh Phi Phi

Image courtesy of DNP’s Facebook Page

Marine officers at Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park are set to intensify clean-up efforts to collect floating rubbish around Koh Phi Phi beach, driven ashore by the monsoon season.

This decision follows viral Facebook posts by Associate Professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine environmental academic and lecturer at Kasetsart University. He highlights the growing problem of marine debris in the area.

The posts depict garbage accumulating near Koh Phi Phi Leh, a popular dive spot and part of the Phi Phi Islands’ chain, which spurred immediate action.

Thon captured these images during a snorkelling trip aimed at observing coral bleaching. In his posts, he raised concerns that the litter could harm the already vulnerable coral ecosystems.

The Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) Atthapol Charoenchansa, received a report yesterday about the situation from Yutthaphong Damsrisuk, chief of Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

“The litter wasn’t from tourists. It was carried to the shore by the seasonal southwest monsoon moving towards the Andaman Sea.”

According to him, the wind transported the rubbish from various water sources such as canals, rivers, and communities, resulting in its accumulation in the national park’s sea area.

This phenomenon, which typically occurs offshore in smaller patches from May to July, has prompted the park to take immediate action. Yutthaphong mentioned that the park’s staff already collect marine litter daily.

However, the administration will now dispatch additional personnel to any location where rubbish is found to be accumulating in large quantities.

The increased efforts to clean up the area are a response to the heightened awareness created by Thon’s viral posts and aim to protect the marine environment from further degradation.

In similar news, Thailand’s beloved Ko Phai Ling, along with its surrounding coral reefs within Sirinat National Park in Phuket, stands temporarily closed to tourists from today until the situation improves, with the closure slated to remain until further notice.

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