Thai floods threaten marine life

Millions of marine organisms may be the next victims of the cataclysm in Thailand, when billions of cubic meters of floodwater are about to pour into the ocean.

Thai authorities warn fishermen in the Gulf of Thailand to actively protect the aquaculture areas when an estimated 10 billion cubic meters of water will flow into the bay and dilute the sea next month.

It is estimated that 10 billion cubic meters of floodwater will carry pollutants
Gulf of Thailand, threatening millions of marine life. (Photo: AFP)

Pramot Sojisuporn, of the Maritime Science Department, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, said the huge amount of water flowing into the bay next month will reduce the normal salt concentration by 32 per cent to two per thousand and The water in the bay will look like fresh water.

"Sources of fresh water pouring into the sea will not affect fish species but could kill living organisms like mud , " he told AFP.

Aquaculture such as fish, shrimp, oysters, oysters, mussels . is one of the pillars of the Gulf of Thailand's economy. This is also a sector that is severely affected when sea water decreases salinity. On November 14, the Ministry of Fisheries asked fishermen in Samut Sakhorn province, south of Bangkok, and fishermen west of the capital, quickly harvesting or relocating and preventing floods in aquaculture ponds. Small species are often sensitive to changes in water quality and salinity so they can die and become food for larger fish, affecting the food supply chain.

Another threat to the life of marine organisms is pollutants in floodwater, escaping from industrial and agricultural production areas . "The Gulf of Thailand is a closed system, surrounded by land. The chemicals will follow flood waters into the bay and there is no escape," said an environmentalist.

A team at Chulalongkorn University will begin testing water in the Gulf of Thailand next week to predict the solubility and spread of fresh water coming soon. Thailand's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will also establish about 50 water quality testing points around the bay and in the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, the main river that runs through Bangkok.

"We have to control a large amount of water so we need to consider the extent and duration of its impact on marine life, as well as the time to recover from the impact," a ministry official said.

The historic flood lasted for the fourth month in Thailand, flooding one-third of the country, killing 567 people and causing billions of dollars in economic losses. The floodwaters have begun to recede in the northern provinces and some districts of Bangkok, but the western and eastern capitals are expected to suffer flooding next year.