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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa


Already a bit over a week ago a paid a visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa. The Phuket Marine Biological Center or PMBC is located at the Phuket Aquarium premises and it's a bit of a way out from the rest of Phuket but for me it was well worth the extra mile since it was also a great opportunity to meet Khun Somchai Bussarawit, Marine and Coastal Protected Area Management Specialist and the first marine biologist in Thailand to study box jelly fish, since around 2008.

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa; The entrance at exactly the same location as Phuket Aquarium. A bit out of the way but it comes with a lovely boulevard leading up to the entrance and a great view over the ocean

The Phuket Marine Biological Center is a Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Institute and is part of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and funded by the Thai government.
There are four research institutes of the PMBC, one in Samut Sakorn (near Bangkok). one in Rayong, one in Songkla, one in Chumpon and the main institute on Phuket itself.

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa; One of the many box jelly fish species that are preserved. This species is a morbakka, often found in Thai waters.

It was interesting sitting down with Khun Somchai, discussing ways how we can help each other, since I have a non scientific background, but am very interested and aware of what is going on with box jelly box fish in Thailand and to a degree, in surrounding countries. 

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa; Portuguese Man'O war on display. They were recently found on Northern Phuket beaches and are still showing their original blue colors, showing how 'fresh' they are. The Portuguese Man'O War has so far not been sighted on the Gulf of Thailand.

With the surrounding countries, there's a challenge for Khun Somchai, since no other South East Asian or Asian country at the moment seems to be so involved in box jelly fish research as Thailand. Recently a first meeting with participants from among other China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia have met, but there are more countries that deal with box jelly fish in the region that hopefully will get involved more in the (near) future, like the Philippines.

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa; With Khun Somchai Bussarawit, Marine and Coastal Protected Area Management Specialist and the first marine biologist in Thailand to study box jelly fish, since around 2008.

From my end I am looking into how I can get the dive community become more aware and involved in the box jelly fish situation in Thailand. Right now I'm following up on some of the discussions and ideas that came up when talking to Khun Somchai.

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa

A visit to the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) in Panwa; In front of one of the building s of the Phuket Marine Biological Center or PMBC, in this specific building some of their collected species are on display

As you can see, there's a lot of research going on about box jelly fish in Thailand and a lot goes on behind the scenes, like at the PMBC. It was a very interesting opportunity to get to know Khun Somchai and see the facilities at the PMBC. Hopefully this will all bear fruit in the future!

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Camille

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