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Cleaning up on Patong beach: the quality of the water also needs attention

Patong 'Needs Marine Environmental Wake-Up'

Friday, September 10, 2010
PATONG tessaban council needs to care for its beach and its bay more carefully, Dr Wannakiat Tubtimsang, Director of Phuket's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, said today.

Dr Wannakiat says the alarm and concern about the potential damage from a sunken cargo of 25,000 litres of diesel fuel should be viewed in the context of the big picture of Phuket's environmental issues.

He said he had checked the sea above the sunken diesel fuel and found not serious concern about pollution.

But the broader view on Phuket's potential environmental threats should highlight especially the need for Patong officials to care for the natural environment of Phuket more carefully.

Tourists have recently complained to Phuketwan about the amount of garbage that comes ashore each day at Patong. While there is some regular cleaning of the beach, some tourists say they have been put off coming back to Patong at this time of the year because the beach looks dirty.

Recent official tallies of the high number of accommodation establishments that do not meet all regulations indicate that many continue to avoid environmental safeguards. Most concern centres on waste being illegally chanelled or pumped into the ocean at Patong and other western beaches.

Dr Wannakiat also said bleaching has affected between 70 and 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Phuket region, killing between 10 and 30 percent. He believes the reefs will regenerate quickly because of the resilient nature of the corals that have been most affected.

Sea temperatures of 30 degrees or less would help the coral to recover - a prolonged period of 31 degrees or above is what caused the initial high-season bleaching.

The return of turtles, which once laid eggs in profusion along the Andaman coast, was less likely, he said. Many turtles were still being trapped in fishing nets or killed by ingesting plastic waste, he added.

However, the breeding and nesting programs being undertaken in the Similan islands and other quiet, natural places were succeeding, Dr Wannakiat said.
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Comments

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It doesn't take an expert to find out that Patong is one of the dirtiest places of Phuket, but everyone can contribute by properly disposing garbage at the beach (just keep a plastic bag for trash), disposing your cig butts and whatever in a sensible way. This includes Thai and tourists as well. Remember, it is a good idea to leave a place cleaner than you found it on arrival...
Everybody enjoy your stay.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on September 10, 2010 22:51


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