Coral Reef Destruction In Thailand - How Bad Is It On Koh Tao / Shark Bay (Thian Og Bay)?

Thian Og is a lovely, quiet place to come and relax. It is known as ‘Shark Bay’ due to the blacktip reef sharks that frequent here. An entrance fee is charged. You can also visit the bay by boat or kayak. Alternative ways of access can be found via a few resorts that connect to Shark Bay. In this area, young sharks can be seen at certain times of the year. There are larger sharks, and to see them you need to swim out from the beach to where it drops down deeper to 3 – 4 metres. They are more likely to be found around the east shore close to Sai Daeng Beach. Look out for green turtles as well, as these live in Shark Bay too and are amazing to see. A few of them are huge, larger than a metre long. They are friendly and not afraid of humans and can sometimes swim very close to you. Please be sure to not touch. Shark Bay is the only place where you can find turtles every day. You may also come across some butterflyfish, triggerfish, needlefish, parrotfish, sergeant majors.

I was lucky enough to dive and snorkel at Shark Bay on Koh Tao in April 2015.

Before we got there I was already really exited to see some sharks. On the internet it says they can be seen fairly regularly.

We stayed at The Haad Tien Resort which is an awesome and mind blowing place.

This Hotel has one of the nicest beach location we visited so far.

Situation 2015

It didn't take long till I told my Girlfriend I`ll head out for a quick snorkel tour. Instead of an hour (lets pretend that's the definition of quick) I stayed out all afternoon. Back then, the situation was already pretty serious, so many dead corals. But you could see a few big hard coral colonies (mostly SPS, no LPS) here and there. Mainly Acropora species and huge Tridacna Clams caught my focus tho.

Current Situation (March 2019)

Now I did have another few long hours checking the area around Shark Bay. Not a single Tridacna and Acropora has been found anymore. Could find a few small SPS colonies which seem to be a bit more resistant than the fragile Acro SPS.

Sea Horse at Shark Bay Thailand

How To Get There

In case you are on Koh Tao and wanna spend a day at the beach and snorkel at Shark Bay, the resort charges a small fee for visitors. In case you are happy enough to snorkel and don't feel the need to stay at the beach, there is a small path from up the road down. No beach though, just big rocks but plenty of space to get ready for snorkeling.

Reminder - How To Behave

We are guest in the ocean so take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but bubbles is a very important rule. Please practice a good buoyancy and protect the reef, stay at a fair distance to the reef so you don't damage it with your fins (if you wear some). Wear reef safe sun screen, there are many brands providing such nowadays.

Shark Bay Conclusion

As sad as it is: Seeing the downgrade in these years, there is no hope for corals at Shark Bay, unfortunately.

The Beach and area around is very nice though and you can easy spend days here. There is still marine life to discover such as sharks, turtles and plenty of different fish.

Never dive alone and let the stress at the surface! =)

Cheers Mirco

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