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Artificial reef created off Phuket coast

December 21, 2012

A total of 1,800 concrete cubes were planted in the sea along the Kata-Karon shore today (December 20) to create a new artificial reef.

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Creating the reef was a simple exercise. As a barge full of the open concrete cubes chugged through the water, a forklift truck on board simply pushed them over the side.

The creation of the eight-kilometre artificial reef came after the success of a similar project off Nai Yang beach three years ago, which has boosted the coral and fish in Nai Yang Bay.

Manop Leelasuthanon, chief officer of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor), said that the artificial reef will not only become a thing of beauty, attracting tourist and increasing income for local people, but will also help to revive marine resources “that are essential to Phuket people”.

Sompong Dapetch, a deputy mayor at Karon Municipality, explained that today’s launch of the project at Kata and Karon follows two previous efforts: first at Nai Yang three years ago, and then at Bang Tao and Kamala Bays in February last year.

“After the first project, we studied the effect the artificial reefs had. We found that over time many sea animals and certain types of corals colonized the area,” Mr Sompong said.

“However, the projects at Nai Yang, Bang Tao and Kamala bays were not as effective, as many fishing boats destroyed the artificial reefs with their fishing nets.

“This time, to avoid the same thing from happening again, we called in all related people, including people from the local fishing industry, and explained the project to them,” he said.

OrBorJor President Paiboon Upatising, who presided over the official launch of the project this morning, praised the initiative for the potential multifaceted benefits it could bring.

“Through this project we can conserve the environment and can help marine ecosystems to recover, while attracting more tourists to Phuket and boosting the income generated by tourism for the local economy,” he said.

 

 

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