Coral Reefs in Thailand
Thailand’s coral reefs are generally in excellent condition. Many National Marine Parks have been created to help preserve the reefs and locally much is done to educate fishermen and boat captains to use low impact fishing methods and mooring buoys, rather than to drop anchor onto live coral. Within the National Marine Parks, fishing is only permitted to local fishermen and is discouraged around the major dive sites.
Thailand’s Coral Reefs support 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral, thousands of plants and animals and are home to one in every four marine species. Thailand’s coral reefs also provide vital protection for shorelines against erosion, storm and wave damage. Thailand’s coral reefs provide an incredible diversity of beneficial medical pharmaceuticals, and contain compounds found to help fight heart disease, asthma, leukemia, viruses, cancer, and HIV.
Approximately one quarter of the world’s coral reefs lie in Southeast Asian waters, and the Andaman Sea is home to the most diverse collection of marine life in the world. The coral reefs we see today in Thailand are the result of a process that started 240 million years ago and each reef forms a complete eco-system – the oldest and most productive eco-systems on earth. If the balance of these ecosystem are disturbed it can wipe out whole sections of this delicate system.
Thailand’s coral reefs rely on the photosynthesis of marine algae, which forms the basis if its food chain, so a large amounts of sunlight is required in order for a reef to form and flourish. For this reason coral reefs are usually found in fairly shallow water (to a maximum depth of 70-100 m for most corals). Pollution, rubbish dumping, silt run-off from rivers, ozone depletion, and global warming all contribute to reef degradation by blocking light necessary for coral growth and introducing toxins and poisons that injure coral reef life.
Aside from their environmental importance, Thailand’s coral reefs are extremely important to fishing industries, local economies and tourism.
Snorkelling and scuba diving are great ways to explore Thailand’s Coral Reefs – please read the environmental guidelines on the Snorkelling page to find out how you can be a responsible underwater visitor. Please take a look at our Trips & Tours section to find out about local diving and snorkelling operators in Lanta Old Town.
If you’re interested in visiting the local islands around Ko Lanta – take a look at:
SCUBAFISH is an environmentally aware, English run, 5 Star, PADI IDC Dive Resort offering the full range of PADI Dive Courses, daily trips to some of Thailand’s top dive sites, including: Ko Haa, Ko Rok, Ko Phi Phi and Hin Daeng & Hin Muang.
If you haven’t dived for a while, it’s a good idea to take a refresher course and do buoyancy check in the pool before taking a dive trip out to the reef. In this way we can help to protect coral reefs in Thailand for generations to come.
Contact Scubafish Dive Centre:
for further information or to find out about prices and schedules