VIDEO : Fishery expert proposes banning ‘Try Dive’ service in Phi Phi Island

Try drive scuba activity may be banned in Phi Phi Island as authorities found that the growing business is a threat to coral reefs.

This was revealed after a team of fishery experts from Kasetsart university and Hat Noppharat Thara-Phi Phi Island national marine park inspected environment of the marine park where try drive scuba experience, sea walker and scuba diving business were sprouting.

The inspection came after the chief of the marine park Mr Sarayut Tantien ordered a major tourist craft to move out of Ao Ton Sai bay after it was found to anchor there in the Phi Phi Island for three years straight with no movement.

Its long anchoring has destroyed coral reefs underneath because the craft shadowed the coral reefs and  obstructed light to  reach the seabed which is needed for marine life.

The craft operator was given until November 5 to pull out.

The team also inspected environment and diving activities around the Island and found destruction to coral reefs by some diving activities.

Assistant professor Dr Torn Thamrongnawasawat said after the inspection that try dive is an activity that breached the law and is a threat to coral reefs.

He said many corals have died after being stepped on by tourists with no skill in diving but just through try dive experience.

He said he would propose the park to ban inclusion of try dive in the tour programmes of tourism operators in the marine park to prevent further damages to coral reefs as the business is growing.

Sea walker diving business also caused similar damages to coral reefs but he did not say it would also be banned.

According to Thai PBS survey, try dive business was introduced 3-4 years ago with a charge of 800-1,000 baht a dive.

The diver will be given a brief 5-10 minute teaching if how to dive by foreign guide and then go under water.

Besides it was also found that most corals and marine lives brought from the sea by operators for photographs by tourists came from other sea or just staged for photographing as corals in the areas have already been dead.