Most of the waterways surrounding the islands of the Mergui archipelago in the Andaman Sea are lined with mangroves, and the one leading into the island of Kala from the east was no different. But as our speedboat rounded a corner, we came up against a large barge. Bulldozers roared in the distance. Up on the land, logged mangrove wood was stacked in piles. Some stumps of mangroves were still lodged in the parched soil.
A red sign adjacent to the mangroves said, “no cutting,” but the “no” had fallen off.