During the latest meeting of the Committee on Maritime and Coastal Resources Policy and Management, Prime Minister for Security Affairs and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan was briefed on the 2017 overall maritime resource situation. He acknowledged that the damage to coral reefs in the Andaman Sea has become more severe than that in the Gulf of Thailand.
The briefing also indicated that 11.47 metric tons of trash had been generated in the maritime areas of the Kingdom’s 23 coastal provinces. About 340,000 metric tons of the figure was plastic garbage that can cause contamination in the sea. Other issues include coastal erosion, which has now grown to affect 704 kilometers of coastline and the increase in man-made maritime damage in various tourist spots, especially in the southern region. The latter is a serious blow to the state of coral reefs, aquatic animals and the maritime ecosystem.
Officials at the meeting have assigned the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to implement maritime and coastal resources protection measures in Koh Khai Nai Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nui Ko Yao District of Phang Nga Province and Ko Racha Yai and Ko Racha Noi in Phuket, along with policies to protect coral reefs from incidental damage caused by the occurrence of regular diving trips. According to the data presented at the meeting, dive sites in Thailand welcome more than five million divers a year.
General Prawit thanked officials for their hard work in discouraging the use of disposable plastic bags, and asked them to keep up the good work. He then urged them to support the maritime and coastal conservation efforts. The Deputy Prime Minister also mentioned the drafting of a coastal erosion protection and mitigation plan 2019-2026 and a plan to protect against the maritime and coastal damage caused by tourism.