Racha, once a Phuket gem with brilliant white sand and quality coral reefs, had deteriorated rapidly because all eight resorts were now only interested in making money, the gathering heard.
Sand from a beach on Racha was being dug up to construct a ninth resort illegally while ''mafia'' were trying to prevent an existing illegal resort from being demolished, the meeting on Phuket heard.
All resorts on Racha had been invited to send representatives to the meeting, Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin heard. None had bothered to attend.
Suta Prateep Na Talang, representing local residents and fishermen, said the largest of the resorts on Racha were the Racha, the Baan Raya, and the Rachaburi. Hotels on the island were now all burying their trash so that coconut trees were beginning to die and a bad water problem was already evident.
Resorts had declined to pay to fund a system that ground bottles to fine particles and the water treatment system on Racha was old and no longer capable of cleaning the water.
The coral reefs around Racha were close to the coast and faced environmental degradation, Khun Suta said.
''Most people on the island don't care,'' he said. ''Yet if we don't start enforcing the law, everything will be gone.''
He suggested an immediate investigation into damage to public beaches and coral reefs by Marine Office 5, which is responsible for protecting the beaches and reefs.
The coral bleaching phenomenon had affected Racha's reefs two years ago and the reefs were now ''ok'' but in need of more time. Yet where once there had just been day-trippers to snorkel and dive, now dive companies were also training divers there, said Paitoon Pachaiyabhum, of the Phuket Marine Biology Centre.
Dr Sommai told the gathering, at Rawai council offices, that the meeting should reconvene in July - and she wanted the Racha resort owners to be there next time.