|One of my Mesh Bags for the Day|
I am sure that you have heard that Maya Bay, on Koh Phi Phi, has been closed this low season and when it will open, if in fact it will, remains unclear. The Similans Marine Park have also extended the closure of The Similan Islands and will have strict limits on the number of visitors to the park (click here for the most recent update).
However the Koh Lanta Marine Park have been shutting our main dive and snorkelling sites (Koh Haa, Koh Rok and Hin Daeng/Muang and recently Koh Muk) every low season, to enable the areas to get a break and recuperate. The Koh Lanta Marine Park is much quieter than Koh Phi Phi and the Similans, but they have recognised that every year the visitors are growing and they want to preserve these sites for the future.
|Koh Lanta Marine Park Managed the Day|
Every year the Koh Lanta Marine Park opens on the 15th October. This year the Marine Park Chief contacted Scubafish and Trash Hero Lanta on Koh Lanta and asked for their help in ensuring that both Koh Rok and Koh Haa were ready for visitors.
|Trash Hero helped with clear up at Koh Rok|
On the 13th October, Scubafish took a groups of professional divers to Koh Rok and Trash Hero Lanta joined other volunteers who were tasked with the job of cleaning the beaches. Nearly 300 people turned up, and it was lucky that they did because it was a big job as the low season tides and weather had washed up lots of garbage. The volunteers did such a great job the marine park had to return the following day to pick up the rubbish they could not fit in their boats!
I was lucky enough to be invited by Andaman Dive Adventures to be part of their team, on the Scubafish boat, for Day 2 at Koh Haa. Now as an ex dive instructor, Koh Haa and I go way back, but I had not been there for a couple of years so I was keen to see how it looked.
|Seeing Koh Haa for the 1st time this season|
On arrival at Koh Haa, we were joined by the Marine Park officials who organised who would dive where to ensure we covered as much of Koh Haa as possible. My team, (Lee, Brian and I) got Cave to Beach on Koh Haa 5. This is a dive I love as it has caverns, caves and swimthroughs and as we jumped in I was struck by how great the visibility was and how clean the site looked, big schools of Travelly and Baracuda were everywhere. Indeed we picked up very little rubbish, until the end of the dive when we spotted a large fishing net by the beach. The net was too big to pick up with what we had and we were running out of air.
When we got back to the boat, Lee (Andaman Dive Adventure) and Magnus (Scubafish) took a short break and then jumped back in to retrieve the net. It was no small task, requiring lift bags to assist them and they had to be careful to ensure the coral was not damaged.
|Lee, from Andaman Dive Adventure after picking up the net|
After a sumptuous meal provided by Pimalai Resort & Spa we returned to the water to clean the lagoon. My team was heading to Koh Haa 2 whilst the other half of the boat were over on Koh Haa 4. Again the rubbish was minimal until half way through the dive, when we discovered some piping, that had been discarded with some wiring.
I would like to thank all those who assisted in not only making sure I had a great day's diving, but also contributed to the clean up.
|We left Koh Haa a little cleaner than what we found it!|
What are you waiting for, the Koh Lanta Marine Park opened today, book your snorkelling or diving tour today!