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Artificial coral reef in Thailand

Phuket hotel pours Bt2 million into artificial reef

A hotel in the southern resort island of Phuket is creating the first ‘reef ball’ artificial coral reef in Thailand…

A hotel in the southern resort island of Phuket is creating the first ‘reef ball’ artificial coral reef in Thailand, amid calls from the government to revive the island’s environmental heritage.

The Bt2 million reef ball scheme, which is receiving scientific and technological support from the US-based Reef Ball Foundation, was launched at the Raja Hotel this morning by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti.

‘Reef balls’, which represent a new approach to the creation of artificial reefs, allow for the growth of coral and help boost marine resources. Existing artificial reefs in Thailand are based on the use of old railway carriages, thus introducing foreign objects into the sea. ‘Reef balls’, on the other hand, are designed to mirror nature as closely as possible.

Phuket’s reef ball project, which will rely partly on public sponsorship of individual balls, forms part of a wider government ‘Green Park, Clear Water, White Sand’ scheme designed to revive Thailand’s national and marine parks.

Eventually the government hopes to extend the reef ball scheme to other resort islands such as Koh Phi Phi.

Today Mr. Suwit also called for the Phuket provincial authorities to launch a ‘Save Phuket’ project, noting that rapid development on the resort island had served to destroy much of its environmental heritage.

Stressing that conservation was vital for sustainable tourism development, Mr. Suwit said that it was essential that the government worked with local residents to help restore the island’s ecosystem.

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