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Fertilizing Phuket’s Seagrass For Dugongs

29th November 2009

Bangkok Hospital Phuket and the Mekawanich Foundation are launching a seagrass fertilization project on 19 Dec 09 in Pa Khlok near Phuket. This project will see the long-term release and monitoring of 20,000 ‘effective micro-organisms’ (EM) balls into the ocean, in the hopes of purifying the waters and attracting more dugongs to the area.

Dugongs feed on seagrass beds in ThailandAccording to statistics from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) the number of dugongs living in Thailand’s waters has dwindled to 220, with only 20 in Phuket and 3 in Pa Khlok.

Pareeya Jullaphong head of CSR for Bangkok Hospital Phuket hopes the project will ensure the health of existing seagrass beds in Pa Khlok, thus attracting more sea cows to the area.

President of the Makawanich Foundation and owner of the Siri Hotel, Nonthalee Makawanich asserts that the EM balls will effectively purify wastewater and fertilise the seagrass beds.

The leading dugong researcher at PMBC, Kanjana Adulyanukosol, is not as optimistic. Pointing out there is no supporting evidence EM balls will achieve either of these goals in the long-term and although they have been effective in smaller areas, Patong would be better served by reducing pollution at the source.

Volunteers are invited to take part in rolling the EM balls on 19 - 20 Dec 09 in the parking lot of the Siri Hotel and then attending the event to throw 10,000 balls into the Pa Khlok sea. Could be a messy business as the balls will comprise ¼ cow dung, ¼ rice bran and ½ soil mixed with purple, lactic acid and yeast bacteria.

Source: Phuket Gazette

Do you want to dive with dugongs in Phuket while you still can? Contact Dive The World send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.

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One Response to “Fertilizing Phuket’s Seagrass For Dugongs”

  1. Maldives Diving says:

    Wow, that’s a great project! I’m happy to see that they’re lauching projects like this…

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