One of the most important marine resources in Koh Phangan is the coral reef located 400 meters off the shore at Haad Yao. There are a variety of coral and the list of fish you can see includes manta rays, porcupine puffer fish and anemone fish. The reef is close to Koh Ma, Koh Phangan’s only marine park and so contains many of the same species.
Whereas Koh Ma benefits from the protection afforded it by its National Park status, the Haad Yao corals are not as fortunate. Moreover, Haad Yao attracts a lot more temporary residents staying in the many rooms the beach and the surrounding locale has to offer.
One of the main activities for tourists visiting Haad Yao is snorkeling and scuba diving. It is a great sport and a great way to gain a new perspective on the marine environment.
There are often tours advertised that explore the reef off Haad Yao. Don’t take these tours if they set off from Haad Yao beach. Only take diving tours that use a boat that sets off from a pier. The longtail boats that go from the shore have outboard motors with long propellers. These propellers often scrape the reef as they cross over to the other side. This causes damage to the reef that can take many years to repair.
Also the boats often leak fuel into the sea which pollutes the sea and can harm marine life. The noise from these boats disturbs the peace of those enjoying the beach and the drivers often cannot see all the swimmers in the water.
So be responsible and only sign up for scuba and snorkeling trips on boats that use a pier. By doing so you are protecting the reef for future visitors to the area and helping to preserve one of the most important natural environments on the island. Thank you!