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Monday, June 24, 2024

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Thailand’s Marine Life In Threat As Temperatures Indicate ‘Global Boiling’

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Scientists and local populations are concerned as sea surface temperatures off the eastern gulf coast of Thailand hit record highs this month during a regional heatwave, harming aquatic life from fish to coral reefs.

Approximately 66 islands make up the Trat archipelago, which includes approximately 28.4 square kilometers (2,841 hectares) of coral reef.

About five meters (16 feet) below the surface, the once-vibrant and colorful corals have gone white in a phenomenon known as coral bleaching, which scientists believe is a sign that their health was declining as a result of rising water temperatures.

In the Eastern Gulf of Thailand, sea surface temperatures have hit 32.73°C (90.91°F) earlier this month. However, evidence indicates that underwater readings are slightly warmer, with dive computers registering approximately 33°C.

Marine biologist Lalita Putchim of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) claimed, “I couldn’t find a single healthy coral. Almost all of the species have bleached, there’s very little that’s not affected,” following a dive in the gulf coast. Lalita has discovered that up to 30% of the coral life there is bleaching, and 5% of it has already died. Lalita warned that more coral will perish if the water’s temperature does not drop. “It’s global boiling, not just global warming,” she said.

The livelihoods of local fishermen and marine creatures were being impacted by rising temperatures. According to scientists, coral reefs serve as a natural barrier halting coastal erosion in addition to providing food and habitat for marine life.

According to Burapha University’s head of the college of Marine Technology, Sarawut Siriwong, fishermen may have to pay more to obtain their harvest if bleaching results in a decline in marine life. This might lead to an increase in selling prices.

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