Temporary Diving Ban at Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi Park

The Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park has announced the temporary closure of specific diving areas in response to the ongoing coral bleaching phenomenon. This measure aims to mitigate the impact of human activities on the fragile coral ecosystems.

Affected Areas and Restrictions

Effective from May 16, shallow diving will be temporarily prohibited at the following locations:

  • Koh Kai (North, East, and West sides)
  • Koh Poda (North side)
  • Koh Dang
  • Railay Bay
  • Koh Yawasam and surrounding reefs

Additionally, all scuba diving activities around Koh Yawasam and the nearby reefs will be suspended until the coral bleaching situation stabilizes. Park officials urge all visitors to adhere to these restrictions to help protect the affected coral reefs.

Survey Findings and Decision Rationale

The decision to close these diving sites follows a comprehensive underwater survey conducted by park rangers. The survey revealed significant coral bleaching, with 50-70% of coral reefs in the affected areas showing severe bleaching and another 5-20% exhibiting signs of stress. The temporary closure is intended to reduce further disturbances and give the corals a chance to recover.

Continuing Access to Other Attractions

While certain diving areas are off-limits, other attractions within the national park remain open for visitors. These include:

  • Thale Waek: Known for its beautiful sandbars that appear during low tide.
  • Maya Bay: Famous for its stunning beach and clear waters.
  • Pileh Lagoon: Renowned for its emerald-green waters surrounded by limestone cliffs.

These locations continue to offer exceptional experiences for tourists while ensuring the preservation of delicate marine ecosystems elsewhere in the park.

Importance of Compliance

Park officials emphasize the importance of respecting these temporary closures to support the recovery of the coral reefs. Visitors are encouraged to explore the alternative attractions within the park and to participate in conservation efforts by following all guidelines and regulations.

Looking Ahead

The park authorities will monitor the coral bleaching situation closely and will reopen the affected areas once the corals show signs of recovery. The cooperation of visitors is crucial in ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of these vital marine habitats.

For more information and updates, visitors can check the official Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park website or contact the park’s visitor center.

Related: Official Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Website

Source: Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Official Announcements