The Mergui Archipelago is an archipelago in far southern Myanmar (Burma) and is part of the Tanintharyi Region. It consists of more than 800 islands, varying in size from very small to hundreds of square kilometers, all lying in the Andaman Sea off the western shore of the Malay Peninsula near its landward (northern) end where it joins the rest of Indochina. They are generally covered with thick tropical growth, including rainforest, and their shorelines are punctuated by beaches, rocky headlands, and in some places, mangrove swamps. Offshore are extensive coral reefs. The archipelago's virtual isolation from most of mankind's influence on the natural environment has given the islands and the surrounding waters of the Andaman Sea a great diversity of flora and fauna, contributing to the region's growing popularity as a diving destination. Environmental threats to the region include overfishing and also blast fishing. For these important conservation reasons, the Mergui Archipelago was declared a Hope Spot by Mission Blue.