The Need for Permanent Mooring Buoys in the Gulf of Thailand: A Minor Field Study
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the need for permanent mooring buoys at the popular off-shore islands of Pattaya, Thailand. By investigating the ecological, social and economic gains and losses of installing such buoys, the project aims to examine whether such buoys would help support a more sustainable development in the area. In order to fulfil the aims and objectives of the project, a literature study, two different questionnaires, interviews, line intercept transects (LIT) and a boat traffic survey were performed.
The results prove that every dive store operator, 71% of the dive instructors/dive masters and 65% of the tourist divers that took part in the interviews or questionnaires have observed anchor damages in the area. This is supported by the results of the LITs, which, although differing greatly between depths, reveal a top score of 44% damaged corals (of which 20% were apparent anchor damages) at snorkelling depth at site 3. At diving depth the damage indexes were generally lower, revealing a top score of 38% damaged corals at Site 2, but no definite anchor damages. The boat traffic survey showed that 192 boats were active in the area, of which 47 used an anchor, during a 3 hour period a Saturday morning. The results also prove that dive store operators and questionnaire participants generally agree that divers wish to see healthy reefs and great aquatic biodiversity when visiting a dive site. The interviews showed that all dive store operators have a positive attitude towards an installation of mooring buoys in the area, which could protect the local reefs and thereby their own business. 85% of the tourist divers that took part in the questionnaires stated they would be willing to pay extra (where a majority of those with a WTP would be willing to pay 7-13 USD) if they could be guaranteed to see healthy coral reefs and a great diversity in species and 88% stated they would be willing to pay extra (where a majority of those with a WTP would be willing to pay 0.7-1.7 USD) to support a permanent mooring buoy system. The interviews and the questionnaires also prove that healthy coral reefs hold a special sentimental value, providing invaluable recreational opportunities to humankind.
Conclusively the results indicate that there is a need for permanent mooring buoys in the area. The ecological, social and economic gains of installing permanent mooring buoys seem to overshadow the cost of installation and maintenance of the buoys, meaning the buoys would most certainly improve the conditions for a more sustainable development in the area.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 45 p.
Coral reefs, mooring buoys, coral reef management, Gulf of Thailand, sustainable development
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-139383OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-139383DiVA: diva2:686170
Subject / course
Bachelor of Science - Energy and Environment
Gröndahl, FredrikPechsiri, Joseph SanthiFranzén, DanielPhillips, Wayne Nicholas