17/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao Suratthani, 84360 Thailand         Info @ Big Blue Conservation        +66 (0) 077 456 179

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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?

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

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

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. 

Development of Sairee's new reef.

Coming into the end of high season here on Koh Tao, means you generally slow down, however here at Big Blue Conservation, we did nothing of the sort. The beginning of the month was spent expanding our knowledge in ecology and diving, along with data collecting and research training. Although towards the end of the month that’s when the hard work did start, we had some relocating of some of our original reef structures, plus the development of the newer ones. Aim was to build, position and cover then cover the structures in new colonies, by the end of the month, and as you can see from the pictures we did just that.
Irene adding to the structure

artificial reef 1

Questions are asked as to why put metal and concrete structures, into the ocean, essentially adding to the clutter left by humans every day. Well the answer is to provide a home and shelter in a barren land, sometimes nature just needs a pick me up a helping hand. By building structures that then become covered in vast species of coral, we ultimately create shelter for a variety of marine life, great and small.

new structure 2