Responsible Tourism

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Think Globally. Act Locally!

At Big Blue Diving, we strive to be ecologically-minded in every way possible. We understand the fragility of our island and that it is a paradise with limited resources. Through numerous projects and initiatives, we work closely with the local community to sustain our local economy and protect our island from the impact of tourism. By choosing to dive with Big Blue Diving, you contribute to our ecological mission while enjoying the best diving environment on the island.

As a small island with an economy dependant on tourism, we understand that there are many restrictions to living a completely ecologically-friendly life. We endeavour to be an eco-minded resort where possible, such as appropriately managing our waste and reducing our water and electrical consumption. As part of the island community, we aim to contribute to Koh Tao’s value by providing income and the financial incentive to protect the area’s natural environments and local communities through buying locally sourced produce.

Big Blue Diving is a unique dive school because we actively contribute to worldwide coral reef research. We have had the privilege to assist internationally renowned marine scientists and masters students conducting field research such as diver-related reef damage, the impact of discarded nets on our reefs, and the recovery of corals from mass bleaching events. We are the first dive school on Koh Tao to have a team dedicated to this scientific research, which is essential to formulating the policies and guidelines required to protect our reefs for future generations to enjoy. You can see a list of our publications here.

We strongly believe that communication and sharing of information is the key to the worldwide conservation of our reefs. If you would like to know more about how to make your resort more ecologically-friendly or more about how to implement marine conservation projects such as a coral nursery construction and reef health monitoring projects, please contact us at info@bigblueconservation.com.

Although the island remoteness is one of Koh Tao’s many charms, it does hinder some of our conservation efforts. We aim to be as eco-friendly as possible, but our best intentions cannot always overcome the reality of some situations. To achieve the best results, we work closely with local communities and are regularly adapting our policies to shifts in local rules, laws, and culture, in order to try to have a positive effect on our local ecosystem. We are always open to suggestions, so if you have any suggestions for improving our policies, please feel free to contact us at info@bigblueconservation.com


RESORT POLICY

-All batteries are recycled. We have a recycle bin for batteries in our shop for residents.
-All shower heads are water-saving, and all leaks and dripping taps quickly rectified.
-We strive to use biodegradable washing liquid for our laundry.
-Rooms are cleaned using microfibre cloths, requiring no bleach-based chemicals.
-When possible, we use our economical side-cart motorbike, known as a ‘salang’, in preference to our taxis.
-All printing is done on recycled, non-bleached paper.
-All bottles and cans are recycled, and we have easily accessible recycling facilities for residents.
-We collect can pull tabs to send to the prosthetic limb charity Ring Pulls to Limb.
-We plant vetiver grass and lemongrass around our resort to help protect from soil erosion and to act as a natural mosquito repellent.
-Where possible, food served in our restaurant is locally sourced from the island. Alternatively, it is bought from sustainable farms on the mainland.
-Where possible, we use natural lighting through skylights to light our buildings.
-Big Blue Diving has a ‘no straw’ policy. Straws and plastic cutlery are only provided upon specific request.
-We are currently working with government officials to educate locals on climate change, including the construction of a climatology center on the island.
-Our staff and divemaster trainees frequently visit the local school to educate the children on fish and coral and teach them how to snorkel. Through this, we hope to educate future local generations on the potential resources of their reefs and that we should strive to sustain them.
-Our boats are properly maintained to ensure no oil is leaked.
-We advise against the use of shampoos and conditioners containing high amounts of preservatives and offer our customers the chance to purchase environmentally friendly washing products. In each bathroom, natural soap is provided which we buy from a local village.
-All lights use energy-saving bulbs.

DIVING POLICY

-All dive briefings include low diver impact guidelines, such as warnings not to touch.
-All night dive torches are powered using reusable batteries
-All our dive professionals are educated on marine identification and conservation.
-As part of the dive professional programs, divers must contribute to a conservation project, such as coral nursery construction.
-Big Blue Diving has adopted North Sairee Beach. This means we are responsible for keeping this area clean and free from fishing.
-The last Saturday of every month, Big Blue Diving hosts a Beach and Underwater Clean up, which includes a free dive.
-Big Blue Diving organizes the Swim for Sharks event each year.  It's a 7km sponsored swim to help raise money and awareness for sharks. Last year (2010), we raised 15,000 baht and obtained 460 signatures against shark fishing.
-Big Blue Diving is an avid contributor to Save Koh Tao projects, such as Buoyancy World and Koh Tao’s BioRock.
-Big Blue Diving wrote BSAC’s Marine Conservation Course and was the first dive school to offer this international course.
-The use of metal pointing sticks and diving gloves are forbidden, to help prevent divers touching the reef.
-All dive leaders are educated on appropriate diving etiquette, particularly in the presence of sharks.
-On our boats, nothing is allowed to be thrown overboard, including food waste. There are specific bins for recycling and cigarette disposal.
-Divers are advised to apply sunscreen an hour before entering the water, as sunscreen can give corals a virus infection.
Responsible Tourism
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