What is understood to be one of Thailand’s largest marine conservation projects is set to get underway in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has announced plans to build a massive artificial coral reef in Bang Saphan Noi to help restore natural coral and create a habitat for aquatic animals.
A total of 763 concrete domes will be used to create the reef in the waters off Koh Talu.
Each of the hexagonal shaped domes are 1.8 metres wide and 1.5 metres high and include 19 opening holes.
Four buoys will then be positioned to indicate the location of the artificial reefs.
As well as creating a new habitat for aquatic wildlife, the site will also be used for research purposes and to study marine biodiversity.
The hope is for the reef to become a ‘source reef’ that will give the coral a place to take root, and in turn attract fish and other sea life.
While previous projects in Thailand have used artificial structures to renew parts of other reefs, this is one of the first times an entire reef will be created in the Gulf of Thailand.
The aim is to create a thriving marine ecosystem and coastal conservation zone.
The project will also benefit the local fishing community and tourism industry, with the reef set form part of a new dive site.
The reef will be installed within the next three months, officials said.
Similar projects will be carried out in the waters off Trat, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Satun.