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The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants is about to close the Yoong island in the Andaman Sea to outsiders probably later this month in order to protect antler coral from bleaching.
Dr Thorn Thamrongnavasawat, vice dean of the faculty of fishery of Kasetsart University, disclosed during the weekend that he had suggested the department to close the Yoong island which is in the Phi-Phi archipelago to outsiders in order to ease coral bleaching problem which may occur this month due to the warming up of sea water as a result of El Nino.
He said that El Nino had already sent the temperature In the Pacific ocean going up and had already affected corals in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. He added that if the water temperature in the Indian Ocean went up, it might lead to coral bleaching in the Andaman sea.
Dr Thorn explained that Yoong island is rich with antler corals and suspending human activities in the Andaman sea such as snorkeling, scuba diving and anchoring through the closure of the island could help strengthen the corals so they could better withstand bleaching.
He pointed out that this measure was the first of its kind to be implemented to protect corals from bleaching as a result of sea warming.
He assured that the closure of Yoong island would not stop tourists from visiting other islands in Phi-Phi archipelago. Koh Mae Phai, he said, is about one kilometer away from Yoong island is good for diving because of its unspoiled undersea environment.