About 50 tonnes of garbage flows into the sea from Thailand every year, but less than two tonnes of that amount is collected later, Depart-ment of Marine and Coastal Resources chief Chonlatid Suraswadi said yesterday, which was World Oceans Day.
The garbage comes mostly from the tourism and fishery sectors, causing dirty beaches and the death of about 300 rare marine animals per year, he said.
The department and allies organised World Oceans Day activities at Phuket's Patong Beach, including a team of 80 volunteer divers to collect garbage from under the sea and along the beach.
Two recent reports by the World Wide Fund For Nature detail the ocean's vast wealth and role in human and economic well-being. "Reviving the Ocean Economy" said the ocean ranks seventh among the world's top 10 economies and had "annual output of goods and services" worth $2.5 trillion. Its overall value was put at $24 trillion. Another analysis said every dollar put into marine protection would win triple that in benefits from employment, coastal protection and fisheries, while increased protection of critical habitats could see benefits of up to $920 billion by 2050.