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.
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
‘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.
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.
government hopes to extend the reef ball scheme to other
resort islands such as Koh Phi Phi.
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.
Koumelis - Monday, September 20, 2004