Protected Marine Wildlife in Thailand

The Marine Environments section covers aquatic life and ecosystems
The Marine Wildlife

Divers are taught early that it is not okay to disturb Marine Wildlife. Ignoring this rule can harm organisms, divers, and entire ecosystems. This not only ruins dive sites for others, but adds to the destruction of the Earth’s oceans by human activities.

Thailand has enacted laws to enforce this rule and protect marine life.

The Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2535 (1992) states that “no person shall hunt or attempt to hunt the preserved or protected Wild Animal” (Section 16). ‘Hunt’ is defined as “collect, capture, trap, shoot, or kill a Wild Animal, or to cause injury by any other means” (Section 4). Furthermore, “whoever acts in contravention to the provisions of Section 16…shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding four years or with a fine not exceeding forty thousand baht, or both” (Section 47).

It is clear that If you harm Marine Wildlife you could be sent to jail for up to four years…

The act also states that “no person shall collect, endanger, or keep in their possession nests of preserved or protected Wild Animals” (Section 21) and that ‘whoever acts in contravention of the provisions of Section 21…shall be punished with imprisonment or with a fine not exceeding ten thousand baht, or both” (Section 51).

Keep this in mind next time you dive a tropical reef. The organisms divers find are beautiful and it may be tempting to touch or collect them.

The following organisms are protected under the act:


Species Charonia tritonis

Giant clam

Family Tridacnidae

Soft Coral

Order Alcyonacea


Order Helioporacia

Fire Coral

Genus Millepora

Stony Coral

Order Scleractinia

Hydrocoral Invertebrates

Order Stylasterina

Sea Anemone

Order Actiniaria

Sea Fan / Black Coral

Order Antipatheria

Sea Fan / Black Coral

Order Gorgonacea