‘Garbage Island’ off Hua Hin Will Take Time to Clear

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2007
Garbage Island
‘Garbage Island’ off Hua Hin Will Take Time to Clear

The huge floating garbage island in the Gulf of Thailand is largely plastic waste and a threat to marine life, according to authorities who say it will take 10 days to clear

The trash slick was located again by an aerial survey 10th February, 10 kilometres away from its previous position. It was then drifting between Koh Talu in Bang Saphan Noi district and a headland of Ao Mae Ramphueng in Bang Saphan district. Koh Talu is a popular shallow-water dive site in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. Authorities estimate the floating junk, which was first spotted a week earlier off Chumphon has been drifting northward and weighs 100 tons. Winds have already scattered some of the trash and made collection a more difficult task, said Sopon Thongdee, deputy directorgeneral of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. Officials expect to be working in the area
using speedboats and small fishing nets to collect the garbage, he said. He said he hoped winds and waves would gather the garbage into a single mass to facilitate the operation. The majority of the garbage consisted of plastic and was harmful to coral and marine life, especially turtles and dolphinst, Sopon said. When plastic garbage sinks, it could cover and kill coral, he added. “It is necessary to remove the garbage from the sea as soon as possible.” He said the trash might have been debris trapped in water draining off the land after the recent heavy floods, especially from Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon. He said he believed it was the biggest floating garbage patch ever seen in Thai waters. – Bangkok Post

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