Bits and BobsSharp rise in tourists over Songkran results in serious coral reef damage around Koh Kradan in southern Thailand.

Calls for stricter regulation after tour boats cause reef damage

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Photo Credit: mihtiander/Getty Images
A sharp increase in tour boat activity over the Songkran period has caused serious damage to coral reefs around Koh Kradan in Thailand’s Trang province, prompting the need for stricter regulations to prevent further destruction.

According to Hat Chao Mai National Park’s chief Narong Kong-iad, damage occurred in many locations, especially around the offshore island after it received a massive tourist influx, reported Bangkok Post. 

The tourists arrived by big tour vessels and long-tailed boats, which dropped their anchors, causing damage to the reefs. Some boats remained anchored even as the tide went out, causing the bottom of their vessels to scrape against the reefs.

Somsak Panthumet, head of the professional tour guide club, in Trang, said he and fellow tour operators and guides have discussed the problem and plan to consult park authorities on ways to better regulate tourists to the island. 

The group also pledged support and cooperation in rehabilitating the damaged reefs.

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