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A time for giving?

For hundreds of years the celebration of Christmas has encouraged a tradition of giving, the exchanging of gifts amongst friends and family. First signs in history of this seasonal activity were actually from a Bishop living in Turkey over a thousand years ago known as St Nicholas who would give gifts to the orphaned children and homeless that lived nearby. This then later led to the modern day tradition of which we now know as Father Christmas, other aliases included Santa Claus and the ancient St Nicholas.

The idea of giving for Christmas has created a multimillion dollar industry, where retailers can expect consumers to pay for the latest thing in hopes of making their loved ones happy. On average people spend approximately 700 dollars a year on gifts for family and friends. A country like America would be looking at over 500 billion dollars in retail sales during the Christmas period alone.

Now this shows that the people of the World are giving, but what affect do this vast generosity have on our planet.  To accommodate the influx in consumerisms manufacturers must meet the demand, with many items being mass produced, at large quantities. Using harmful methods to create items from materials that can have lasting effects on our environment.

Some of these items maybe treasured for years to come, however the reality of the situation is that over 28% of the gifts received are returned. Or the alternative being maybe worse where the latest action hero figurine made from long lasting plastic will be unpopular within a few months, and need to be replaced by a new one to keep up with the trends.

Retailers and the media have over the years made it difficult to not need or want the latest products on the market. Consumers led to believe they need to own an item, even if the one they had before was ideal for the job. Reality being that we live in an age where many products are designed not to last, so each year you feel you need the new iPhone with the not so latest upgrade.

So on top of purchasing many products that you probably never needed or that only gave you joy for a few months. The event of Christmas leads to so many other wasteful products, whether that be the endless amounts of wrapping paper thrown out after the presents are revealed, or the festive decorations that fall apart after a couple of seasons. 

108 Million Roles of wrapping paper and almost 200 million batteries, get disposed of during the Christmas period and end up in landfills.  So this season of giving does result in a high level of waste, and despite the act of giving being a selfless act. The impact it has on the environment is very much a selfish act by humans.

However it doesn’t always need to be so, as over recent years a lot have become more conscious of the waste created and started using alternatives to the necessary things needed for the festive season. For example using plain paper wrapping, which can be easily recycled, instead of the colourful foil covered non-recyclable traditional wrap, and more people are trying rechargeable batteries, which have a longer life span than the alkaline commercial kind.

Along with being more consumer conscious and purchasing sustainable products instead of short lived items, and even maybe looking at buying used items that still have all the great qualities of new ones. The options are out there to make an impact over Christmas, although maybe changing the lives of others as St Nicholas did but in a more positive way. By reducing what is thrown away we save the lives of many on the planet, directly or indirectly.

Christmas a time for giving…………………………..

26th August

duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun…......

Imagine your whole reputation depicted by one famous movie. After millions of years swimming on this planet, evolving in to a smart and gifted organism.  But then shamed for the image created during one movie scene.

It is known for being one of the best suspense filled movies of all time, however with its success came great cost. When asked if sharks are dangerous most would say YES!

But why I ask myself, after having the opportunity to swim with sharks, some of which known for their aggressive behavior. I felt that the label of killer is a little vague. After all a toaster could be dangerous or even a cow.  In fact you are 24 times more likely to be bitten by another human on the New York subway than by any shark in the ocean.swimming with sharks

Yes they have big teeth and, they are master predators, add this to the fact some species can grow quite big. However despite what has been emphasized in movies, humans aren’t really the best choice of snack for a shark. Our own feeding habits of processed commercially produced food make us a very non nutritional meal, for a growing predator.

Yes sharks have been known to attack humans, and over the decades people have lost their lives to these attacks. So let’s take a look at why if we have no nutritional value would a shark decide to eat a human.  Well let’s look at it this way, if you were hungry and you came across a burger, looked good and tasty amongst other similar looking burgers.  You wouldn’t hesitate to take a bite, to then only discover that, that one burger out of all the other beef burger was made from the neighbor’s cat.  Horrified by this and knowing eating cat isn’t as nutritional as the quarter pounder you normally eat, but it’s too late that hungry bite was a third of the burger.

Now go back to the issue sharks face most days, when they visit a place that should be abundant with the food they normally eat, is of short supply and then the issue of things that look like food and move amongst their food is adding to mix.  In this example you could associate yourself as the cat burger amongst all of the other burgers.

Trying to explain why something would attack you for no reason, and then come back with how it was an intelligent creature. Seems to contradict the fact, but as mentioned unless humans and sharks start to develop telepathic abilities, it would be difficult to not make those mistakes.

As statistics of sharks attacks globally show, they occur in the same areas and these areas are also renowned for being big fishing communities, or surfing communities, add on top of that they are normally areas with a large population of the shark’s natural prey.

Despite humans being known as the most intelligent organism on the planet we seem to lack empathy and understanding, with which we are not alone, and that for millions of years the planet has survived in a balance of realizing each organism plays a vital role on this life vessel. We all have jobs in maintaining the healthy function of this planet.

So asked if a species that is known for being a nasty devil like organism is actually vital to the planet, well you could put it down, to how important sharks are to the oceans. The reason we have life on Earth is down to many things, although one of the most crucial is the 70% water coverage we have on the planet.  Providing us with over 50% of the global oxygen, and absorbing excess heat, and unwanted gases. Life could not exist globally without the oceans, and so how do sharks help. Well it is not just the water that provides us with the things we need, but more so what lives within. Like any habitat it is filled with many life forms and all of which have a role. A food chain creates that circle of life, where populations are maintained, and balanced to insure life of all the organisms living within the habitat can prosper.

Now where do sharks stand in the oceans food chain, predators like sharks, are good at what they do. Most shark species will be at the top of their respective food chains, and being at the top has great responsibility.  Responsibilities include controlling population numbers of species below, eating diseased or injured animals, which would cripple their community.

With all this in mind, and the constant decline of shark populations attention is needed.  If shark were to disappear from our oceans, food chains would collapse resulting in the decline of all species within them. That would include even the microscopic organisms that provide us with such an abundance of oxygen.

The oceans should be considered as a whole, and the impact on one species can cause an effect on all, since the increase in human population many species have suffered. Sharks amongst those greatly affected by habitat decline and over fishing techniques.

Whether it be for their fins, their blood, or killed to make an area safe for humans, they are being brutally murdered globally.  Not only does this make no sense in maintaining a healthy ocean, but also consuming such an organism can come with great personal health risks.  Any apex predators in the oceans contain high toxic levels of mercury, which without being a doctor I can say it’s not good for you.

So coming back to the original topic, changing the image tainted for decades. Here at Big Blue Diving Koh Toa for the past 6 years we have like many dedicated an entire day to sharks.  Swim for sharks is not only a fundraising event but also an awareness raising on the worlds sharks.  Teaming up with charities, and inviting the local community to get involved, it is a busy day of swimming, partying and celebrating all things shark.swim for sharks 2018 70 x 70

Each year we print event T-shirts that can be sold, and then profits donated to the selected charities. This year we took the famous image from the movie originally mentioned and for once aimed to use its popularity for something that would help our sharks.  Changing people’s perception is always going to be a challenge, but knowing how important sharks are I feel it is a challenge we should all accept.

Here at Big Blue we work closely with local charities such as Koh Tao Whalesharks, and Shark Guardian, both of which are dedicated to educational awareness, and the monitoring of local shark populations. We were happy to announce that just like previous years the day was a success and we raised over 4,000 US dollar, along with the attendance of over 100 people on the day.Swim 4 sharks 2018 500x281

Concluding this article, I hope the points made were clear and that from what I have mentioned, anyone could make a personal conclusion on how they feel about sharks.  Education is the way forward, and I feel the ability to educate others could be our greatest gift. However a gift for good or bad, that is down to you.  For thousands of years people were told the world was flat, and that you could simply just fall off the edge. For 20 years you thought sharks were only here to kill humans, and by going swimming in the ocean, you could end up disembodied by a hungry shark.  Well now with a little more info I hope the perception of sharks will change. As I for one, I think, it’s a little unfair that sharks cannot sue Hollywood for the images created, like any celebrity could.

Thank you for reading

20 October 2018

Koh Tao Waves goodbye to plastic.

Since its existence plastic has had mixed reactions, whether it be a lifesaving discovery or a burden on our environment.

The first ever plastic based synthetic Bakelite was created by Leo Hendrik Baekeland in 1907, made from phenol and formaldehyde.  However the discovery of materials such as plastics, were being used from as early as 1839 by Charles Goodyear who used rubber from the rubber tree, and also an apothecary from Berlin by the name of Edward Simon discovered polystyrene.

From using rubber the first ever plastics were made using very natural materials like Alexander Parkes who demonstrated during an exhibition in 1862 that Parkesine an organic material from cellulose could be heated and then hold its shape. Add then alcoholised camphor, in 1868 John Wesly Hyatt was able to make billiard balls without using ivory.

As the science progressed so did the plastics, its durability and strength was something that could be used for many applications. Despite starting its life constructed from natural sources, the advances in science meant the creation of unnatural manmade substances like the famous PVC polyvinyl chloride CH2=CHCLTypes of plastic symbols Credits iStock Thinkstockcom ID 25726818

By the 1960’s the popularity of plastics had increased, and by 1985 you could find plastic bags in over 75% of supermarkets instead of paper. Due to the lower manufactory costs, of making a plastic bag as opposed to a paper one.plastic bottles 500x281

So where do we stand now, on the brink of a plastic legacy. Most plastics would take from 450 to over a thousand years to decompose, due to their strong chemical structure.  And so with this knowledge many would try to eliminate the plastic waste by burning, and with such a low melting point the chemicals used in their creation would then be released in to the atmosphere. Poisoning entire communities, and having drastic effects on their health.

Burning PVC Plastic releases Dioxins, that are considered a carcinogenic, and hormone disruptor. A primary cause of Cancerous diseases, which give people the symptoms of cyanide poisoning.  Headaches, weakness, nausea, and shortness of breath.

So going back to the title of this piece I bring us back to the small island of Koh Tao in the southern gulf of Thailand. Approximately only 5km in length with a population of little over 1,500, it has a vibrant community of locals and tourists.

On a small island plastic pollution can be a big problem, efforts to recycle have fallen short and the local garbage site can be seen increasing daily due to throw away plastic. As an Asian culture that has a very much laid back easy lifestyle. The introduction of plastic came with a flourish and replaced a lot of very natural based materials. For example instead of wrapping in plastic, banana leaf was an easily accessible material that could be used to wrap almost everything.  Instead of a plastic cup, cups were made from bamboo shoots, something found abundantly across Thailand.straws 500x281

Before long the impact of single use plastic was seen across the island, the local bars would give a customer 5 plastic straw with every cocktail bucket. These plastic straws then fall from over flowed bins, on to the local beaches, then consumed by the ocean to spend their life at sea. Or end up consumed by marine life, which will then have a severe effect on their health.

So with a community in crisis, despite their frequent clean up attempts. Action needed to be taken, and so as a joint effort by local and Foreign residents. Solutions came forward, if we could not eliminate the objects made of plastic. Then we would find alternatives, so that those objects were no longer made from plastic.

Straws made from metal, paper or bamboo can now be seen at many of the bars and restaurant, many bars and residents now buy water that is refilled in glass or metal bottles, and finally the many shops that no longer give customers a plastic bag free, encouraging them to bring a long a reusable shopping bag.Straw alternarives 500x281

Although this is still far from a plastic free utopia, it can be seen as a start to change for the better. With some of the cleanest beaches in Asia, this small islands community has certainly made a great attempt at getting clean.  

 So as conclusion whether burned or left to decompose plastic is poisoning our planet, and so like our predecessors were named for their greatest discovery, like the stone or bronze age. This era of man could come to be known as the plastic age, and could well be the only thing left as our legacy.   It will be down to us to change, and from the success of this small island. It can be seen that it can work.

Thank you for reading

Rachel Linartssairee beach 1

Conservationist living on Koh Tao

22nd April

Earth Day 2018

Another successful community event, where tons of trash was removed from our seas and lands. An event that has been happening globally for over forty years, and here on Koh Tao we celebrated with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

 That helped to not only remove the unwanted trash from our sea and land, but also helped to categorize the trash. So we could gather a better understanding of what had been so easily discarded on to our beautiful planet Earth.

Using PADI’s Project aware Dive against debris format we were able to add our efforts to a global effort to create awareness about the amount of single use plastics we have entering our oceans every day. Items that cannot be recycled could massive problems for the survival of our oceans and the animals that live with it.

So once again that our awesome volunteers from all over the island for helping us on Earth day, and we look forward to next year.  

1st January 2018

New Year Revolutions

Over the past year many things have been accomplished and achievements have been made both locally and globally for conservation.

More people actively getting involved with survey work, joining in with beach and underwater clean ups, and the global awareness of plastic pollution.

So for the preservation of our beautiful planet it has been a year of change, however as with every New Year we look to the future and the newer achievements that can be made.

So as for the title of this piece, Big Blue Conservation looks forward to a prospective future. Excelling on the great work done over the past year by our fantastic volunteers.

Removing tons of trash from our beaches and dive sites, helping out with a blossoming coral nursery, and working on materials that can educate others.

So we thank all our volunteers from 2017, and our resolution is to repeat and excel for the future of Koh Tao.

November 13th 2013

Say hello to our November interns!!

This month 3 travellers from Germany and Switzerland have joined Big Blue Conservation for the Marine Conservation internship! Inquisitive, eager and enthusiastic, they have delved into the underwater world…and even invented a hand signal for ECO! Read on to meet the team.

November interns at Chumphon Pinnacle

 

Meet Franzie – After studying for her Chemistry Masters in France, Franzie has taken the year (or was it 2?!) to travel the world. And what better way to start her journey than to jump straight into the Open Water and Advanced diving courses before starting the eco internship. Like many travellers who have discovered Koh Tao, there seems to no definite date when Franzie will leave! But there has plans in the future to start her PhD in London, researching possible materials that can be used in solar cells.

November interns doing the 'ECO'

Meet Theresa & Mikko – After arriving on the island with plans of completing their Advanced diving course, they decided to come back to join our internship programme. The couple are travelling the world on a break from the ‘real world’. Theresa works as a teacher, educating children aged 12-18 on history, German language, theatre and ethics. Mikko worked in traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture. The couple have no definite concrete plans for their future travels, but Mikko has hinted at setting up a shop on the island…..we may have 2 new residents!

 

November 30th 2013

Monthly beach & underwater clean-up at Big Blue

P1070258 370x250All our eco warriors assembled for yesterdays beach and underwater clean-up along North Sairee and Sairee Bay. The day started at 10am with a clean-up on the beach between our two Big Blue Diving resorts. Customers, divemasters trainees, eco interns and locals gathered outside our resort for a quick briefing about what to pick up..and then we set off down the beach! November is notorious for strong winds, high waves and continuous rain (hello monsoon season!), so evidently there was little beach to walk along with the high tides. But everyone was determined to make it a worthwhile trip: with rubbish bags in hand and gloves for protection (you never know what you might find!), we trooped through the sand and grasses to collect any rubbish we could spot.

P1070263 370x250The day proceeded with a trip out on one of our dive boats, Banzai, for the underwater clean-up. As the clock ticked closer to the departure time of 12:45, divemaster trainees helped pack all the dive equipment for the trip and customers started to crowd around the dive shop in anticipation for the afternoon’s dives. As everyone boarded the boat, we began to set up our dive gear for the first dive at White Rock. Every underwater clean-up consists of a fun dive followed by the free (yes, it’s free!) clean-up. For those that wanted to only participate in the second dive, there was ample space on the boat’s roof to tan and relax as the waves lapped up against the hull. Jumping into the refreshing water, we descended into the underwater world of White Rock. Reaching a maximum depth of 22m, it is the most diverse divesite on Koh tao, home to many species of coral, invertebrates and fish!

After a lengthy dive of 52 minutes, everyone huddled together on the top deck for another briefing about the impending clean-up dive. November has been packed with events, not just on Koh Tao but worldwide; Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the monsson weather covering South East Asia. Over the weeks we have experienced an abundance of waste washing up over the island’s divesites and shore. To take shelter from the unfavourable weather, many fishing boats moor up in Sairee Bay, hidden from the Eastern currents. But so much traffic in the bay means a lot of rubbish is dropped into the water and left discarded on the reef floor.

AP1070329 370x250ll 39 divers listened attentively as we discussed methods for collecting rubbish underwater and the safety procedures to follow. With mesh bags attached to the dive leaders equipment, dive groups jumped into the water in search of plastic bags, cans, bottles and batteries. The poor visibility meant dive groups had to stick close together as not to lose one another, but also keep close to the reef to identify marine life from rubbish. As dive groups journeyed through the bay, they passed the coral nursery and artificial reefs structures, vast beds of foliose coral, enormous boulder corals, schools of batfish, families of saddleback anemone fish, feeding parrotfish…..the list goes on! After 45 minutes groups emerged from the depths holding mesh bags filled with all sorts of rubbish: batteries, metals rods, cloth, plastic piping, dive equipment, plastic wrappers, and even a broom! Enjoyment and satisfaction encompassed every diver as they climbed back onto the boat to share their findings.

The day ended as we gathered in front of the dive school for a group photo of all 39 divers (Holy smokes, 39 people!). Hands in the air, whooping with joy, we smiled for cameraman Wayne who filmed the entire event. A well-earned beer was only moments away at the Big Blue Bar. Logging the afternoon’s dives in logbooks, we all sat in the restaurant to watch the sun set behind Sairee Bay (sparkling with cleanliness!).

January 2nd 2014

Underwater cleanup March 2013Big Blue Diving launched Big Blue Conservation in 2009 by Dr Jennifer Matthews, and each year it has grown more successful. The department is focused on providing training in marine conservation, improving resort and dive policies, and encouraging sustainable tourism; all to limit the impact we have on the environment.

Over the years, we have worked closely with dive associations SSI and PADI to support several of our community-based projects, as well as donating to both PADI’s Project Aware projects and SSI’s Mission Deep Blue aims.

It has been a busy 2013, especially with Jen leaving to New Zealand to start her PhD and Instructor Lizzie taking hold of the reins. Just look at the numbers below at what a successful year we’ve had:

53underwater surveys conducted according to the SSI Ecological Monitoring Programme specifications.

3 370x250110,414 THB (approx. €2520) raised at our Swim for Sharks sponsored event, of which 15% was donated to the SSI MissionDeep Blue Costa Rica anti-finning campaign.

Over 150tonnes of rubbish collected on the beaches, roads and underwater during our monthly efforts to reduce marine pollution.

13SSI Eco diver marine biology internships conducted at Big Blue, during which interns learn more about the marine world and how to effectively conserve it, from which they can take this knowledge to other diving destinations and help make diving globally more sustainable.

5 underwater constructions built that offer conservation training and research.

Over 100 newly trained SSI Dive professionals (30 OWSI/70+ DiveCon) all of whom spent a day learning about Mission Deep Blue and the Ocean Ranger program in our very own tailored one-day programme.

1 370x250Over 100 newly trained SSI Dive professionals (30 OWSI/70+ DiveCon) all of whom spent a day learning about Mission Deep Blue and the Ocean Ranger program in our very own tailored one-day programme.

…the list goes on! And 2014 is set to be equally as exciting with the Koh Tao Festival in June and the 5th annual Swim4Sharks fundraiser in August, plus all the new interns signed up for our monthly marine conservation programme!

Our achievements are essentially down to the tourists and locals that contribute to our projects – so why not show your support this 2014 and help out at one of our monthly beach & underwater clean-ups? Or participate in the month-long marine conservation internship programme? Or start your Open Water diving course today at Big Blue Diving and experience the magnificent underwater world we are striving to protect!

Check out our website for more information on the courses we offer, and our Facebook page Big Blue Conservation for interesting facts and photos of all our projects.

January 2nd 2014

Underwater cleanup March 2013Big Blue Diving launched Big Blue Conservation in 2009 by Dr Jennifer Matthews, and each year it has grown more successful. The department is focused on providing training in marine conservation, improving resort and dive policies, and encouraging sustainable tourism; all to limit the impact we have on the environment.

Over the years, we have worked closely with dive associations SSI and PADI to support several of our community-based projects, as well as donating to both PADI’s Project Aware projects and SSI’s Mission Deep Blue aims.

It has been a busy 2013, especially with Jen leaving to New Zealand to start her PhD and Instructor Lizzie taking hold of the reins. Just look at the numbers below at what a successful year we’ve had:

53underwater surveys conducted according to the SSI Ecological Monitoring Programme specifications.

3 370x250110,414THB (approx. €2520) raised at our Swim for Sharks sponsored event, of which 15% was donated to the SSI MissionDeep Blue Costa Rica anti-finning campaign.

Over 150tonnes of rubbish collected on the beaches, roads and underwater during our monthly efforts to reduce marine pollution.

13SSI Eco diver marine biology internships conducted at Big Blue, during which interns learn more about the marine world and how to effectively conserve it, from which they can take this knowledge to other diving destinations and help make diving globally more sustainable.

5underwater constructions built that offer conservation training and research.

Over 100newly trained SSI Dive professionals (30 OWSI/70+ DiveCon) all of whom spent a day learning about Mission Deep Blue and the Ocean Ranger program in our very own tailored one-day programme.

1 370x250Over 100newly trained SSI Dive professionals (30 OWSI/70+ DiveCon) all of whom spent a day learning about Mission Deep Blue and the Ocean Ranger program in our very own tailored one-day programme.

…the list goes on! And 2014 is set to be equally as exciting with the Koh Tao Festival in June and the 5th annual Swim4Sharks fundraiser in August, plus all the new interns signed up for our monthly marine conservation programme!

Our achievements are essentially down to the tourists and locals that contribute to our projects – so why not show your support this 2014 and help out at one of our monthly beach & underwater clean-ups? Or participate in the month-long marine conservation internship programme? Or start your Open Water diving course today at Big Blue Diving and experience the magnificent underwater world we are striving to protect!

Check out our website for more information on the courses we offer, and our Facebook page Big Blue Conservation for interesting facts and photos of all our projects.

February 14th 2014

This week the interns have been investigating the artificial reefs dotted around Koh Tao island. Artificial reefs are man-made structures placed underwater to promote marine life in areas where life is lacking or near existing natural reefs to relief both natural and human pressures. Structures are usually made from concrete or metal and can act as a buoyancy aid for students or as new surfaces for coral to grow. This technique in reef conservation is called rehabilitation.

P1010567 390x269Many dive schools on the island have created or assisted in forming their own artificial reef. At Big Blue we have our very own coral nursery in Sairee Bay! It’s primary objective is to grow coral fragments and transplant them on to the existing reef or onto new structures we built on land before sinking them at the site. Many of these coral fragments we find in the sand, having broken off during rough weather or from coming into contact with diver’s fins. Some of the coral fragments have also been taken from existing healthy coral colonies – but it is important to collect fragments from many different colonies to increase biodiversity and preserve high DNA variation.

In the afternoon we headed out on one of our Big Blue boats for the first dive at Junkyard! Junkyard is an artificial reef, belonging to Crystal Dive School located near Mae Haad pier. This naturally barren area now experiences many interesting species that cannot be found anywhere else on the island! Following the route north we discovered an old truck, concrete picnic tables, collections of toilets and a miniature replica of the Sydney Bridge! Some of the fascinating species you can see there include the lionfish, juvenile Harlequin sweetlips & strapweed filefish.

TP1010612 404x264he second dive site was scheduled to be Twin Peaks, home to the infamous Buoyancy World – an artificial reef of many different structures, each created by a dive school on the island. Due to the increasing wind speed we decided to head back to the sheltered bay and work on our own reef! We scanned the sandy area near the nursery to collect fragments of coral we found suffocating in the sand, ready for tomorrow’s activities!

Rising early the next morning we ventured back out to the nursery with tools, rope and baskets in hand. The first dive was at BioRock – another artificial reef that uses an electrical current to increase the health and growth of corals. The method is so successful that it can benefit the surrounding area up to 3km away! With no dive map in hand, we searched between boulders of existing natural reef before stumbling upon the expansive dome structures. Since the project starting 4 years ago, the coral has enveloped the entire dome and many fish have inhabited the area.

P1010627 322x288The last stop was our nursery back at Sairee to attach more fragments to the new structures we built last month. After collecting all the coral from the day before, we gathered on the boat to attach them to strands of rope that would wrap around the structures. We had to work quickly as the morning sun had appeared and could cause stress for the corals. Once all 7 ropes had been created, we jumped back into the water to tie and twist the strands onto 2 metal cubes. Over the next few months the cubes will be maintained and the coral monitored. These cubes have joined the collection of other structures at our nursery: the Christmas Tree, 3 domes, 1 sleeping metal turtle and several gridded coral patches.

Next week we will be deploying 2 more large concrete cubes as an experiment to monitor whether metal or concrete is more beneficial for coral growth!

Sign up on our next BSAC Marine Conservation course to visit our coral nursery and help us monitor the corals health!

February 23rd 2014

Enter our photography competition

Love taking photos? Want to share your passion with the world? Wish you could join us on our full day trips to Chumphon Marine Park? Or do you want to know more about coral and our nursery? Then this is the competition for you!!!

We are holding a photography competition this month to celebrate the start of the New Year and all things eco! We want people from all areas of the diving industry to join in: recreational divers, instructors, divemasters, beginners, technical divers..everyone! But you don't have to be an expert in photography to enter; all you need is a camera and a love for conservation.

The theme this month is Koh Tao island. The photo can be taken underwater or on land, and the subject must portray an eco message or have an eco caption. You only need to enter one photo to have the chance of winning one of the 3 amazing prizes! And all the money raised will contribute to this years Swim4Sharks 2014 fundraiser! Read below for all the information:

Photo competition 850x567

Final date for submissions: 31st March 2014

Judging Day: 4th April

 

1st Prize: Full day trip to Chumphon Marine Park

2nd Prize: Half-day coral workshop

3rd Prize: Eco tshirt & bag

 

Entry fee for 1 photo: 200 baht

Entry fee for 3 photos: 500 baht

 

Email your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop them off at the Big Blue shop (Sairee Beach) on a USB stick, CD or DVD with your entry fee. Please include your name in the file name. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: Prizes are awarded as a voucher, valid for 6 months from the 4th April. Full day trip to CMP is availabe on scheduled dates, subject to weather conditions. Coral workshop must be scheduled in advance. Eco tshirt & bag can be redeemed from Big Blue's Drift store.

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Big Blue Diving
15/3 Moo 1 
Koh Tao 
Suratthani 
84360 
Thailand

Phone: +66 (0) 77 456 050
Fax: +66 (0) 77 456 772 

Aqua Lung 

SSI Diamond Instructor Training Resort