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HOME // Phuket News // Phuket’s Koh Pling closed off due to coral bleaching

Phuket’s Koh Pling closed off due to coral bleaching

PHOTO: Bleached coral, an increasing problem around Thailand

Koh Pling and surrounding coral reefs off the Sirinart National Park coast in Phuket are being closed off temporarily due to severe “coral bleaching triggered by rising sea temperatures”.

Koh Pling is a small island off the southern end of the Nai Yang Beach, just south of the Phuket International Airport.

Associate Professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine expert from Kasetsart University, has previously explained that prolonged exposure to sea temperatures exceeding 31 degrees Celsius for 3-4 weeks is the “primary cause of coral bleaching and eventual death”.

He says that stressors such as “loss of symbiotic algae and changes in water temperature further exacerbate coral bleaching”.

The closure, announced by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, takes effect immediately.

Chief of Sirinart National Park, Watchara Songsee-on, says that halting human marine activities around Koh Pling will “help slow down coral bleaching”.

Similar bleaching incidents have been observed in various areas across the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand over the last decade.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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