Coral Bleaching Prompts Closures in Phi Phi National Park

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Several areas within the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park will be closed to tourists starting June 30 due to severe coral and sea anemone bleaching, officials announced.

Yutthapong Dumsrisuk, the park’s chief, reported that devastating bleaching has been observed in Loh Ba Kao Bay, Viking Cave, and Pi Leh Bay, impacting nearly 100% of the coral and sea anemone populations. The situation continues to worsen, and Dumsrisuk emphasized that tourist activities could exacerbate the bleaching, necessitating the closures in hopes of slowing the damage.

Despite these closures, other areas within the national park will remain open to visitors.

Since April, ten marine parks and three popular diving spots in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf have been closed to the public. Last year, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation collected approximately 1.7 billion baht in entry fees to the country’s national parks, including about 500 million baht from visitors to Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

Officials and environmentalists were present during the announcement, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the collective effort to protect the park’s marine ecosystems.

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