Scuba divers and environmentalists collected more than a ton of garbage form beaches and undersea reefs off Phangnga’s Koh Yao.
About 100 local administrators, marine resource experts, tourism operators, conservationists and volunteer divers joined forces to clean beaches on the Koh Khai islands and nearby seabed in Phru Nai Subdistrict.
The cleanup was aimed at preparing for the return of tourists as the coronavirus situation improves. Participants collected a total 1,092 kilograms of rubbish including nets, plastic glass bottles and foam containers, plus natural debris.
Prathom Rasamee, director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Office 6, said the problem of marine debris needed to be addressed urgently because it had both direct and indirect negative impacts on marine ecosystems, mangrove forests, beaches, coral, seagrasses and tourism.
Marine debris mars the beauty of the scenery, reduces the value of tourist destinations and affects sea animals. About 2-5 percent of rare sea animals died after eating marine debris, Prathom said.