Krabi Islands ARE CLOSED | Thailand Closes Krabi Islands

Krabi Islands ARE CLOSED | Thailand Closes Krabi Islands

Krabi Islands ARE CLOSED | Thailand Closes Krabi Islands

Last updated on May 22, 2024 By

Krabi Islands are closed as of 16th May 2024

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving to be Unavailable in some islands in Phi Phi National Park in Krabi. The national park has made this decision after a survey in the national park area, that showed there was evidence of an increase of severe coral bleaching around many islands.

The Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park in Krabi has announced a temporary closure for snorkeling and scuba diving at many islands due to coral bleaching.

The announcement was issued on Monday (May 13th). The announcement will take effect from Thursday (May 16th) until further notice.

Islands that will be temporarily closed for snorkeling are:

  • Kai Island (Chicken Island) in the north, east and west (Kang Kao Bay/Bat Bay)
  • Poda Island in the north, and Pu Ya Bay
  • Dang Island (Red Island), Railay Bay (Bird Nest Island or Happy Island)
  • Yawasam Island

Siranat Scotch, a well-known environmentalist in Krabi, said the bleaching was also spreading through reefs off islands in Krabi’s Mu Koh Lanta National Park in Krabi, including Koh Rok, Koh Kai, Koh Ha, and Koh Hong. He said the bleaching is occurring in water up to 5 metres deep.

What is Coral Bleaching?

Krabi Islands are ClosingCoral bleaching is a phenomenon that occurs when corals, stressed by changes in environmental conditions, expel the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues. These algae provide corals with both their color and a significant portion of their energy through photosynthesis. When expelled, the corals turn white or “bleached” and, if the stressful conditions persist, the corals can starve, leading to their death.

Causes of Coral Bleaching

  1. Temperature Changes:
    • Elevated Sea Temperatures: The primary cause of coral bleaching is increased sea temperatures, often due to climate change. Even a rise of 1-2°C can trigger bleaching.
    • Cold Water Stress: Sudden drops in temperature can also cause bleaching, although this is less common.
  2. Solar Radiation:
    • Increased sunlight, especially when combined with high water temperatures, can exacerbate the stress on corals, leading to bleaching.
  3. Ocean Acidification:
    • Increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere result in higher CO2 absorption by oceans, leading to acidification. This reduces the availability of calcium carbonate, essential for coral skeleton formation.
  4. Pollution:
    • Runoff from agriculture (pesticides, herbicides), sewage, and oil spills can introduce toxins that stress coral reefs.
    • Sedimentation from construction and deforestation can smother corals, blocking the sunlight they need.
  5. Overfishing:
    • Removing key species disrupts the balance of reef ecosystems, which can indirectly stress corals and make them more susceptible to bleaching.
  6. Diseases:
    • Pathogens and coral diseases, sometimes exacerbated by pollution and warmer waters, can lead to coral bleaching.
  7. Physical Damage:
    • Destructive fishing practices, boat anchors, and coastal development can physically damage coral reefs, making them more vulnerable to bleaching.

How Can Coral Bleaching Be Stopped?

  1. Combat Climate Change:
    • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Global efforts to cut down CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions are crucial. This involves transitioning to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and adopting sustainable practices.
    • International Agreements: Supporting and adhering to international agreements like the Paris Agreement helps in coordinated global action against climate change.
  2. Protect and Restore Coral Habitats:
    • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): Establishing MPAs can help reduce local stressors and provide refuges where corals can recover and thrive.
    • Coral Restoration Projects: Initiatives to grow and transplant corals in degraded areas can aid in reef recovery.
  3. Reduce Pollution:
    • Improved Waste Management: Ensuring proper treatment of sewage and industrial effluents can significantly reduce nutrient and toxin levels in the water.
    • Agricultural Practices: Implementing sustainable farming practices to minimize runoff of pesticides and fertilizers can help protect coral reefs.
  4. Sustainable Fishing Practices:
    • Enforcing sustainable fishing regulations and practices helps maintain the ecological balance of reef ecosystems.
  5. Public Education and Community Involvement:
    • Raising awareness about the importance of coral reefs and the threats they face can lead to more responsible behavior and increased support for conservation efforts.
  6. Research and Monitoring:
    • Ongoing research to better understand the mechanisms of coral bleaching and resilience can inform more effective conservation strategies.
    • Regular monitoring of reef health allows for early detection of bleaching events and timely intervention.

Coral bleaching is a severe and growing threat to marine ecosystems, primarily driven by human activities. Addressing the root causes, particularly climate change, while protecting and restoring coral habitats, reducing pollution, and promoting sustainable practices, are critical steps in stopping and reversing the damage. Collective global action, coupled with local conservation efforts, is essential to preserve these vital ecosystems for future generations.

5 Star Marine fully supports these closures and we will keep updating any new closures on our YouTube Channel.

If you have any questions about tours that we operate please contact us.