These rules were established last year in reaction to widely circulated images of tourists damaging delicate coral near the Pattaya island of Koh Larn. Authorities have adopted a number of measures to safeguard Pattaya’s marine life in response to damage to coral reefs. When the reefs were put in, a sizable group of ornamental fish and baby fish happily entered their new environment, according to Kiattisak.

If the rules are implemented, there will be clearly marked areas where people can wander underwater. The Marine Resources Conservation Office’s director claims that if the new rules are put into place, they may completely deter people from wanting to go sea walking. Coral should not be present in particular regions, if at all possible. If it isn’t possible to build complete zones free of coral, divers won’t be able to approach a reef within five meters. If officials can come up with a way to preserve sea walking while also safeguarding marine life, only time will tell. The Deputy Permanent Secretary of Pattaya, Kiattisak Sriwongchai, asserted that people had specifically damaged the coral reef on the island by walking on them. Seawalking zones are not permitted in areas with animals present or in areas where environmental restoration efforts are underway. A fourth rule forbids sea walkers from moving while kicking up silt, which is impossible.

In June of this year, government workers erected 300 sets of artificial reefs all around Koh Larn and another island, Koh Sak.

I hope this heralds positive things for Thailand’s marine life. Pattaya last week proposed new rules for “sea-walker” tourists, also referred to as divers, in order to protect its coral reefs.

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