Update on Coral Situation in Andaman Sea from 2010 Marine Science Conference in Phuket

Dr. Nisakorn Kositrat, the Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, presided over a  Marine Science Conference 2010 called “Marine Biological Diversity in Thailand: Obstacles and Opportunities”. The conference was held in Phuket and there were 16 universities and organizations attending the conference.

This year, the conference mainly discussed about the coral bleaching situation in Thai seas. In the past 20 – 30 years, the surveys from related organizations showed that the average temperature of the sea was lower than 28 Celsius degrees or 25 Celsius degrees. Yet, this year the average temperature of the sea rose up to 31 – 32 Celsius degrees, so it caused coral bleaching in Thai seas. If the rising temperatures last 2 – 3 weeks, the coral dies. However, if the temperature decreases, it would take 2 -3 months for the coral to return to normal. Dr. Nisakorn added that the coral should not be disturbed during the recovery period.

Meanwhile Wannakiat Tabtimsang, the Director of Phuket Marine Biological Center, revealed that the coral bleaching in Andaman Sea had stopped already. He added that the monsoon influencing the sea at this time had made the temperature decrease to 28 Celsius degrees. 5% – 50% of coral died depending on the coral habitat and the coral species. In the area that the coral was still alive, it would take 2-3 months for recovery, while the areas, where the coral died, would take 3 – 4 years to recover.


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