Abundance of the magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) and its marine ecotourism potential at Mu Ko Chumphon National Park, Thailand

Authors

  • Thamasak Yeemin Ramkhamhaeng Univerity
  • Makamas Sutthacheep
  • Wanlaya Klinthong
  • Nachaphon Sangmanee
  • Charernmee Chamchoy
  • Laongdow Jungrak

Keywords:

marine ecotourism, Mu Ko Chumphon, management, sea anemone

Abstract

A tourism at Mu Ko Chumphon, Nationalpark is increasingly interested in both Thai and international tourists. The tourist carrying capacity at these sites is higher than the real number of tourists, therefore promoting tourism in these areas is needed. A sea anemone, Heteractis magnifica, lives in the reef areas and there are symbiotic relationships with a anemonefish, Amphiprion spp. For this reason, can be a tourist attraction for coming to Mu Ko Chumphon. The abundance of H. magnifica from eight study sites at Mu Ko Chumphon was investigated using a photo belt-transect method. Our results revealed that the H. magnifica was found in all study sites, except for Ko Kula. The highest abundance of sea anemone H. magnifica was found in Ko Ngam Yai (5.15±0.30 ind./m2), while the lowest coverage was found in Ko Mattra (0.09±0.02 ind./m2). Besides, Ko Ngam Yai showed high abundance of anemonefish, Amphiprion perideraion (18.33 ind./m2). Ko Ngam Yai and Ko Ngam Noi are suitable for snorkeling and SCUBA due to thier high live coral cover and high diversity of macrofauna and fishes in these areas that can be attractive sites for tourism. Our study provides a baseline of data in those areas that can be applied to tourism management strategies and tourism promoting at Mu Ko Chumphon.

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Published

2021-08-31

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