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Helping to save Phang Nga Bay

October 31, 2011

More than 200 men, women and children gathered recently at pristine Phang Nga Bay to release 200,000 baby shrimp into the sea to enhance the local ecosystem,  Phuket Gazette reports

THE FOCUS: The sea grass is integral to the ecosystem. Photos: E. Doberer

Phang Nga Bay is a marine conservation zone that encompasses Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi territory.

The Phang Nga Bay ecosystem includes mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass, shrimp, squid, molluscs, small fish and other marine life.

Movie stars, marine biologists, local and Bangkok media, newlyweds, officials and all kinds of locals all gathered at this event organized by Quiksilver to promote visibility of the ecosystem, so it will remain a protected area.

“In the past there were problems with the fishing equipment. The nets were dragged across the bottom of the seabed which killed the sea grass,” explained Mr Pitul Panchaiyabum, Director or Marine and Coastal Resources for Conservation Center 5, which includes Phuket. “We solved this problem. A new conservation law was passed that banned the use of nets.”

The sea grass must be protected because it acts as a nursery for baby sea life. It provides a place for the smaller marine life to hide so they won’t be eaten by larger fish. This protected area is significant to everyone involved in the fishing industry in Phuket, Mr Pitul remarked, adding that, “Tourism is not the only important industry in Phuket. This area needs to remain protected because it’s a feeding area for small fish and squid.”

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