Andaman Sea Reefs
Most andaman sea reefs are fringing reefs around islands off the coasts of Thailand and Myanmar or, in the northwest, off the eastern coasts of the Andaman and Nicobar islands—the site of the largest continuous area of reefs in south Asia. About 200 coral species and more than 500 fish species have been recorded here. The reefs and islands are also important feeding and breeding grounds for endangered sea turtles. A coral bleaching event in 1998 badly damaged reefs around the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which until then were some of the most pristine anywhere, but hardly touched the Thailand reefs. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused relatively little damage. Other threats to these reefs include collection of marine life for aquariums, destructive fishing techniques, siltation caused by poorly managed deforestation on some of the islands, and anchor damage from dive boats.