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Asia Dive News : Sea Turtles almost gone from Thailand's Andaman coast

“The situation is worrying. In the past five decades, the number of sea turtles has dropped five fold. Beaches in Phangna and Phuket used to be places for sea turtles to lay eggs. Now, there are only 20 or so nests per year”, said Kongkiert Kitiwatcharawong, marine biologist.

According to the Marine and Coastal Resources Development and Research Center, statistics showed the number of sea turtles coming to Thailand’s Andaman shores to lay their eggs has dropped dramatically. There were only 10-20 nests per year, decreasing from up to 1,000 nests in the past...

The Olive Ridley turtle is at risk of extinction and are now rarely seen coming ashore to lay eggs. The major cause is the over development of coastal areas for tourism. Leatherback sea turtles also used to be found on Phuket’s Mai Khao beach.

Human influence affects coastal areas where sea turtles live for six months before landing ashore shore to lay eggs. In the near future, sea turtles might disappear from Thailand’s Andaman coast.

“Naturally, sea turtles will return to the same place they usually come to lay eggs. But they will not return if the place is not safe for them anymore. They will find a new, better place.”, said Kongkiert.

More sea turtles are choosing to lay their eggs on beaches in Myanmar and Malaysia as there is little human intrusion. As a result, sea turtle conservation efforts are not only increasing their numbers but also providing them with a good environment suitable for their living and reproduction.

Source: Thai News Agency