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6th November 2014

Charity Quiz

Every month we organize a full moon pub quiz, for those that stay on our beautiful island instead of venturing south for the world famous Koh Phangan full moon beach party.  Its main purpose was to entertain the local ferangs, however we decided to put all that good natured effort to good use, and so we incorporated a charity into the mix. Giving half of the entry money raised to the winners and half to the charity we select to sponsor that month.animal clinic 2

This month’s charity was local and here on the island we are very grateful for its existence, the Koh Tao Noistar Animal Clinic, which takes care of not only the residences pets but also the stray animals with very little in terms of comforts. The clinic gets very little support from the government, for all the work they do, so they rely primarily on support from organised events, that occur here or the UK.animal clinic 3

This month we were able to raise 5,000bht for the clinic that will go towards nurturing all the stray cats and dogs, as well as tendering to any of common injuries found on the island, such as mange.  If you wish to donate a small amount to this cause, please follow the link below. animal clinic 12 

www.kohtaoanimalclinic.org

14th November 2014

Learn more!

Here at Big Blue we pride ourselves in going the extra mile, and our conservation department is no different, when we’re not out cleaning the beaches/reefs, or building a new habitat, we our offering lectures on your favourite mrine animals.barracuda

Scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening every week at 5:30pm. We offer short 15-20 minute lectures on;

  • Whale Shark
  • Turtles
  • Seahorses
  • Triggerfish
  • Stingras
  • Fish ID
  • stingray

The aim is pass on knowledge to our fellow diving and snorkelling community, on what makes each of these animals so amazing and unique. Power is knowledge and so the more we have the better chance we have changing the world for the better.turtle500x281.jpg 2

Save the seas. 

20th November 2014

Tinned Tuna

Want to know how to be truly Dolphin friendly when buying tinned Tuna?turtle in tuna catch

Well the answer is to avoid two Tuna sourced methods, firstly there is Fish Aggregation Device, written on tins as FAD. The device attracts not only Tuna, but other larger pelagic animals like Dolphins and sharks, even Turtles. Once attracted by the device it’s tough for the fisherman to segregate the other species from the Tuna before they are landed onto the boat, and ultimately die from surface exposure before they can be re-released.

The other misconception is that farmed Tuna is sustainable, and does not affect the wild Tuna stock, however this is a lie, the Tuna our not bred from farmed stock, and they are caught from the wild young and then reared to exceed their normal size for the fish markets.

I merely hope that you use this information and try your hardest to buy responsible Tuna.  Below I have translated the words we should look out for in Thai.FADs small

Fish aggregating device Free - ฟรีอุปกรณ์,รวบรวมปลาfarmed tuna

Farmed Tuna – ฟาร์มปลาทูน่า

26th November 2014

There are many reasons for coral conservation, however is the farming of coral for human bone grafts, as much a positive idea for coral as it is for us humans?

Whilst diving we look on in awe at the beautiful colours and shapes the corals appear in, and wonder how do the corals create such a magnificent underwater landscape.coral Sairee 500 x 281

Well the answer is that they are clearly more than meets the eye, corals are unique in that they are not just animal based, in fact they are also plant based and  mineral based, making them a wonderment from nature.

However in this discussion I don’t wish to keep telling you how brilliant our underwater garden is, but more so can us as humans take advantage of its brilliance. Referring back to my previous description of coral being a mineral based organism. That comes from their Calcium Carbonate skeleton, that just so happens to be very similar to the Calcium phosphate that makes up our bones.

Scientists then suggested due to its similarity it could be used as a human bone graft, saving lives by reducing the surgeries to just one.  The down side was it just wasn’t quite right for a suitable bone graft not biological degrading at the right rate.

So they started to experiment, and found if they could alter/change the composition from Calcium Carbonate to Coralline Hydroxyapatite, it just might work.coralbones

Through recent research scientists found that this would biodegrade as the new human bones formed, making it a successful and profitable discovery. A discovery that is now be used my major pharmaceutical companies that aim to make a great profit from growing and exploiting the corals.

Just like farmed cattle and fish it has now come to this, farming of the world’s most intriguing organism. Coral needs the Calcium Carbonate from its predecessors to regenerate, which is fine apart from that appears to be a natural occurring substance, created by nature, and research has found that nature is running short of this marvellous formula, reducing the chances of successful growth within nature.

On the other side of this question, would this new found discovery be a way to encourage people to save our corals and the complex ecosystem they sustain.

Can you decide whether this discovery is helping nature or something else for humans to use until there is no more?

29th November 2014

Beach and Reef Clean-up.

At the end of every month we get a small group of volunteers together, for our Beach and Reef clean-up. beach clean nov 500 x 281 

This month was no exception, with just over 20 volunteers we were able to fill 7 garbage bags during the beach clean along North Sairee beach, our most visited beach here on Koh Tao, and then we filled 3 bags of garbage from Mao Bay on our Reef clean in the afternoon.reef clean Nov 500 x 281

So overall quite successful and I would like to say a big thank you to all our volunteers, that by giving their time to help, have probably saved countless marine lives. beach clean volunteers 500 x 281

THANKS GUYS!

 

4th December 2014

Fishing Nets

Thailand like many countries relies greatly on the oceans and rivers for their food source, and so being a fishermen is a popular career to many Thai people.  Whether it be commercial for the masses, or just local, feeding only their friends and family, it will affect the fish populations, in some way.Fishing net at Chumphon P.3

The island of Koh Tao rests approximately 65km off the East side of mainland Thailand, and is the furthest North of all islands on this coastline.  The Gulf is popular for squid fishing, barracuda fishing, king mackerel fishing, and the fishing of snappers, all of which play a crucial role in this particular ecosystem.

However it is more the way they are caught that is really having disastrous and long term affects within our oceans, the use of trawler nets, purse nets, and long lines, which catch more than the targeted species and when snagged on the coral will be left at the bottom trapping more fish for during their lengthy lifespan.

So a solution may finally have arrived, a bio-degradable fishing net with a tracking system so each snagged net can be recovered for repair, or if left below, can then be triggered to break down at a productive rate.For more information on this new design look in to the Remora net.Fishing net at Chumphon P.4

However Koh Tao has yet to see the introduction of this great invention, so we asked volunteers to help us remove these harmful nets from our favoured dive spots, and with great success we freed the ocean from a few more net. Fishing net chumphon P 5

Great Job Guys!

31st December 2014

So let’s look at what Big Blue Conservation has been up to over the last 12 months.

Big Blue conservation aim to continuelly clean and care for Koh Tao's surrounding marine habitat, with monthly beach cleans and net remavals, however we don't stop their, we started with a bit of investigation, exploring the Islands various artificial reefs, to then start work on our own coral nursery that continues to blossom.

We then had our annual amateur photography competition which was popular amongst locals and visitors, raising money for Shark conservation.new artificial reef 2

Then came the Koh Tao festival an opportunity for our dedicated staff to expresses their artistic skill, and co-ordination, performing a well-rehearsed dance routine.  Go guys!

Not long after we finished our dance off we swam for some sharks, in our annual swim for sharks, an event where those that wish can test their strength with a swim around the Koh Nanuang islands, or those wanting a well needed hair cut can with our shave for sharks. During this event we raised over 100,000 baht for shark conservation, and became a well-deserved Shark Guardian recognised dive school.

After this the year wasn’t over quite yet for Big Blue conservation, we took it upon themselves to continue developing their coral nursery as well as educating others on the importance of marine conservation.race s4s 70 x 52

Now we come to the final period of 2014 and we thought let’s make it more festive and fun than usual, working with local school children we designed marine based Christmas cards that were sold with great success across the island, raising money for the local schools.

Finally we tested everyone’s Christmas knowledge with a quiz that raised money for the local animal clinic, giving to those animals that don’t seem to have that constant love!Selling christmas cards 500x281

So I would say in all quite a successful year and hope 2015 brings us more reasons to thank the great Mother Nature and look forward to ways in which we can conserve our great environment!

KEEP SAVING THE SEAS!

7th January 2015

The end of Monsoon!

So we finally have it, calm, clear waters, and then the abundance of fish life doesn't dissapoint, from Barracuda's to Trevalleys, these calm waters have been blessed with an influx in strong dominant fish that to the eye seem magneficent in the way they patrol the waters around Chumphon Pinnacle. 2

We all know the importance of diversity within the ocean and to sea species from higher levels on the food chain thriving, leaves hope for the species below, and above in this diverse web of creatures. 

If you've ever wondered the role in which each species plays in the ocean, how they unnoticeable work together, and how as an individual you can help preserve this magical place, then join us for the BSAC Marine Conservation course, 5 lectures, 5 dives filled with skills that will make your next fun dive a totally fullfilling experince, thanks to the your new found knowledge. 500

Keep Saving the Seas!

22nd January 2015

Shark Guardian Big Blue presentaion

Here at Big Blue we had the great privilege of having Brendon from Shark Guardians, visit us and give our staff and customers a highly educational and influential presentation on the importance Sharks have in our delicately balanced ecosystem and how, as divers we can help their efforts to protect and preserve these marvellous creatures, from near extinction.Brendon giving Big Blue staff and customers a presentation, on work they day.

Sharks have been evolving for over 400 million years, and are one of the oldest predators within our oceans, branching into over 400 different species, of which a quarter of those species are classed as endangered or extinct by the ICUN database.

Working alongside organisations like the Shark Guardians, we aim to help preserve and protect these iconic apex predators, as an ocean without sharks would be a very unhealthy ocean, they keep everything in check, they are literally ‘Our Ocean Guardians’.

If you have read some of our blogs regarding the Shark Guardians, and would like to know how you can get involved well, I have left below some helpful links.

Become an ISSA International student shark ambassador, spreading the word on the importance of our ocean guardians.

http://www.sharkguardian.org/shark-guardian-international-student-shark-ambassador/

Help by logging your recent and old shark sightings around Thailand, the data collected is being used to express to the Thai government that we are seeing a decline in shark numbers in their waters, and they need to act now in protecting them, before it’s too late.

http://www.sharkguardian.org/thailand-eshark-project/Whale shark spotted near Chumphon Pinnacle Koh Tao

Or put your photography skills to the test and help us identify an individual Whale shark, by taking a levelled focused picture of the shark between the pectoral and dorsal fin, where we can identify the shark by the location of its spots.

http://www.sharkguardian.org/whale-shark-project/

Help us help them, guard our oceans!

5th February 2015

Restoration of the Big Blue Lizard

Approximately 5 years ago, the dive schools here on Koh Tao, united to create an artificial reef area, that could not only be used for training, but also a haven for corals and fish to flourish, this site was ample known as Buoyancy world, located just South of koh nang yuan.Restoring the artificial lizard

Over the years the site has taken great pressure off the neighbouring naturally formed site Twins, and has been used by many schools, for different types of diver training.

However the years have taken their toll on certain structures that were created, and they have broken or deteriorated.  This has left then unappealing and unsafe for divers wanting to get close.Lizard missing its head

So a few of Big Blue's Instructors, Dive master and Dive master trainees got together and came up with a way to mend Big Blue's structure, restoring its former glory, and making it safe for divers to get up close and see the life growing within and outside.

So Well Done Guys, you did a great job, lets’ keep saving the seas!A team photo

13th February 2015

Charity Valentine Auction

Over the years we have looked at many ways to raise money for charity, that would still be fun and exciting to the audience, sponsored swims, and shaves, even quizzes, however I can proudly say that from the photos and the total amount raised that our pre valentine auction has topped all our expectations.  The event took place the night before valentine, as the catch line, was to buy or be bought by your valentine sweet heart for the following evening of romance.One of the many Bachelors

The event was in aid of two charities, one local and one global, both of which will put the funds to great use. Our local charity was the Koh Tao Noistar Animal Clinic, with only one registered vet and assistant, paid on a basic salary, the clinic always welcomes donated funds, which can help improve the facilities available, for not only the homed but, also the many homeless animals on Koh Tao. We thank them constantly for the great job they do.Koh Tao Animal clinic receiving their donation

The global charity we chose was Sea Shepherd, a well-known organisation that prides itself in doing what others can’t in order to save the lives of innocent wildlife.  In specific the funds raised will be going to the Cove Guardians segment of the organisation, their role, well to publicize constantly the barbaric acts that happen for 9 months of the year at Taiji Bay Japan, where thousands of dolphins are either captured for life imprisonment or butchered for their meat.

As the event was a great success I would like to personally thank the community for pulling together,

Thanks guys you did a great job and we applaud you.

 THANKS!

http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/Sea Shepherd logo

 

http://www.kohtaoanimalclinic.org/

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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 

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