An installation of “artificial seaweed” took place at Bang Neang Beach in Takua Pa, led by Phang Nga Vice Governor Pakpoom Intarasuwan on Wednesday.
Some 25 volunteer conservationists from across the occupational spectrum joined in the kick-off for the four-day operation, including teachers, doctors, soldiers, police, local politicians and foreigners.
This is the first place in the Andaman Sea to take this approach to reviving the undersea ecology using rope “seaweed” and empty concrete boxes to act as a starter for a reef ecosystem.
“This artificial seaweed attracts small fish to live amongst it as a safe place and breeding area,” said diving instructor Songwut Kwongming, who is coordinating the installation. “Big fish come into the area to eat the smaller fish which reinforces the ecosystem.”
The rope seaweed has been installed in 80 artificial coral reefs in other areas, said Songwut.
“The installations aim to restore marine resources for marine life habitats and provide shelters in the area for an underwater park which is three nautical miles from the shore,” he said. “The area is run like an ‘underwater museum’ which helps support artificial reef tourism and decreases the detrimental affects on our natural coral reefs.”