Thailand’s HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday was celebrated last week to great fan fair and many symbolic ceremonies. One such ceremony was the release of marine animals in the waters around Phuket, which included 39 sharks and over 10,000 other animals, reported the Phuket Gazette.
The release, which took place off Mai Thon Island, was arranged by the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and Phuket Aquarium, under the auspices of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. Amongst the marine critters that found new freedom, were 39 bamboo sharks and at least 200 clown fish. Students near the Phuket Aquarium also got in on the action by releasing 100,000 tiny prawns.
The release of the marine animals is a boon for Phuket’s dwindling coastal marine animal population, a cause for which public awareness was being raised along side this tribute to Queen Sirikit.
Bamboo sharks are harmless to humans, but their population has dwindled to nearly nothing in local waters. Clownfish, on the other hand, shot to stardom when Disney’s Finding Nemo was released, however, this has also contributed to the Hollywood star’s population decline in the ocean due to aquarium owners wanting them for their collection.
The release effort was hoped to make a real contribution towards resorting these marine populations along Phuket’s coast. In the meantime, the best opportunities to experience vibrant sea-life near Phuket, is still on a liveaboard diving safari to one of Phuket’s national parks, such as the Similan Islands.