Big Blue Conservation - Latest News

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!

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



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

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?

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.