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Clams and Fish Released Near Phuket

THAILAND - Villagers from Chalong and Erawan Group staff have released more than 1,000 rare marine creatures into Chalong Bay.

The release is part of an initiative to support marine populations off the coast of Phuket the Phuket Gazette reports.

Sutha Prateep Na Thalang, leader of a Chalong fishermen’s group, told the Phuket Gazette: "There aren’t many of these animals left in the water because of all the sewage released into the sea that has killed the coral reefs and, subsequently, the fish."

About 100 people attended the release ceremony at Baan Bangkontee, where 500 damselfish and 1,000 fingerfish, all of which were bred at the Phang Nga Coastal Aquaculture Research Center, were released.

There were three species of damselfish among the 500: the three-bar dascyllus damsel, yellowtail damsel, and sergeant major damsel.

Then, 50 giant clams, which had been bred at the Surat Thani Coastal Aquaculture Research Center, were released near Koh Tanan, an islet near Chalong Pier. The clams are about 10 years old and 20 to 30 centimeters long.

Giant clams are listed as having 'Vulnerable; conservation status, according to the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

About 200,000 young giant clams have been transferred from Surat Thani to the Phuket Marine Biological Center where they will be nurtured until they are large enough to be released into the sea, the Gazette says.

"We need to save local sea animals so that they can live long lives with us. Those sea animals that become extinct have a knock-on impact on humans," said Khun Sutha.

View the Phuket Gazette story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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