Thailand Dive and Sail have a long and fond history with theMergui Archipelago. Having dived in the area for more than 10 years we have a lot of experience in this intriguing and beautiful part of the world. We were very excited to hear of the new discoveries made by the Fauna and Flora International (FFI) marine research expedition to the archipelago recently.

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The rare Tapestry Shrimp, to date only described as seen in Burma

Over a period of 11 days and across an area of more than 10,000km2 the team, made up of international scientists and FFI Burmese divers, were able to record numerous marine species. Their research included observations of corals, fish, invertebrates and even some unidentified bodies. One interesting find was that of corals living in unusual conditions, explained further in this news article Myanmar research reveals underwater treasures.

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The results of bomb fishing: unfortunately an all too common sight when diving in Burma

As we have mentioned previously through our news and information about Burma diving, the impact from blast fishing and overfishing in general have had a devastating effect on the underwater landscape in the Mergui Archipelago. This topic is explored in an article on the See and Sea Organisation’s website, Unsustainable Fishing, there are details about the depleting marine life and the impact it will have on the local communities.

A Positive Future for Burma Diving?

This new research by FFI has uncovered a wealth of underwater activity on the outskirts of the coral reef in the Mergui Archipelago, where human impact is minimal. This is fantastic news for a region that is being considered as a world heritage site for for Burma diving possibilities in the future.

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Burmese authorities have shown little interest in protecting their natural treasures

This is a positive outcome for the region, however, it will only remain so with controlled fishing, environmental protection and sustainable practices put in place. The human impact on the Mergui Archipelago has taken its toll, but it’s not too late to protect this precious and important ecosystem. In an encouraging attempt to learn more, Fauna and Flora International intend to continue their work and research in this area. Thailand Dive and Sail will endeavour to continue surveying the Mergui Archipelago and do what we can through See and Sea Organisation to help the communities and help to reduce human impact on this special marine environment.

by Anna Pering