MYANMAR DIVING CONDITIONS 2016-2017
Fishing has undoubtedly had an impact on the marine environment, but there are still so many wonderfully colorful coral reefs in Myanmar. The outer islands in particular are home to some of the most pristine reefs in the Andaman Sea. For example, consider Richelieu Rock, Thailand’s’ best dive site, which is known for its stunning soft corals and Whale Shark visits. Richelieu is a unique dive site in Thailand and really stands out from other dive sites. In Myanmar on the other hand, dozens of dive sites are covered with the same pristine soft corals, but much denser and in even greater quantities. Coral coverage in Myanmar is generally bigger, better and more diverse than in Thailand.
In August 2015, the FFI (Flora and Fauna International) carried out extensive studies in the Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago. In under two weeks they recorded ‘over 700 coral, invertebrate and fish species, including a number of unidentified specimens that may prove new to science’. This is even more proof that there is still a lot to be discovered in the Mergui Archipelago.
“With Myeik proposed as a potential World Heritage Site, we wanted to get a clearer picture of what the situation was on the outer reefs, where human impacts were likely to be less severe. What we found was a seascape bursting with life.”
Sophie Benbow, Flora & Fauna International
They found the coral coverage to be ‘consistently high’. Certain reefs had 80% hard coral coverage and rated ‘excellent’ on a standardised global scale. During this same period, the great barrier reef in Australia and countless other locations are becoming devastated by coral bleaching. It is quite surprising that healthy coral coverage is still so high.
One factor that may play an important role in the healthy reefs of Myanmar, is the general sea conditions and the location of the islands. In the section below you can find out a bit more about what makes Myanmar diving conditions so unique.