Thailand imposes diving ban to save coral


BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities have prohibited diving at seven marine national parks popular with tourists to try to protect deteriorating coral reefs.

Sunan Arunnopparat, chief of the National Parks Department, said Thursday that marine experts had been consulted in making the decision to limit access to the parks, all on the Andaman Sea.

Coral in the areas is suffering from “bleaching,” which occurs when it becomes stressed and expels the algae that live inside and give it color. Coral can die if this continues for extended periods, depriving fish of vital food and habitat.

The problem is often caused by water changes, including warmer temperatures, sedimentation and acidification.