Shark Point Phuket and Anemone Reef : Unaffected by coral bleaching in Thailand

December 19, 2010

Corals unaffected by coral bleaching

It’s been a while since I’ve made it out for some scuba diving at Shark Point Phuket and Anemone Reef, two dive sites close to Phuket in Thailand. These two Thailand dive sites offer some of the best scuba diving around Phuket, and seem to be almost completely unaffected by the coral bleaching in Thailand. The limited coral bleaching at some dive sites in the tropics, was attributed to overly warm sea temperatures during April and May in 2010. Some dives, particularly those with shallow reefs were affected, with Stag Horn Corals affected the most.

Anemone Reef was the first dive of the day, and upon dumping the air from my BCD, I descended onto the Anemone carpeted reef. The currents at this dive site can sometimes almost pull your mask clean off your face, but today they were invitingly mild, and the visibility was reasonable. I was shocked at the state of the dive site, not because something was wrong, but because it looked exactly the same at it did before the bleaching occurred. The Anemones were all dancing wildly and looked healthy, not like at some other dive sites close by where we’d witnessed the Anemones fade to white and die. The pink, blue, and purple soft corals were all also looking good, as were nearly all of the Gorgonian fans.

Shark Point Phuket - Sea Horse

There was an abundance of marine life everywhere, a sure sign that the reef was healthy and thriving. Lionfish hovered menacingly waiting for their next victim to pass by carelessly, shoals of Snapper danced in the sunlight, and Glassfish carpeted large sections of.

After a delicious lunch on the boat, we moved on to Shark Point Phuket. Again I was pleasantly surprised that all the corals looked unaffected by coral bleaching in Thailand. Brightly colored soft corals festooned parts of the reef, and there were even healthy areas of Stag Horn Corals. I’m guessing that the strong currents out at these dive sites kept the temperature just a degree cooler than elsewhere, preserving the corals and marine life living in and around them. At Shark Point Phuket, we saw Leopard Sharks, Ribbon Eels, an Eagle Ray, Scorpion fish, Ghostpipe Fish, Cuttlefish, and even a couple of Seahorses.

Above is a video taken from 15th December 2010.

It was a good days diving and refreshing to see for myself, that these Phuket dive sites were still firing on all cylinders will little or no signs of damage from the coral bleaching in Thailand.

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December 2010
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