Big Blue Conservation - Latest News

Septembers amazing volunteer

"A year ago, I went to Koh Tao to complete some specialities and saw an ad about the eco internship. I simply thought "Oh, it seems cool." About marine biology, I was like Jon Snow, I knew nothing. But still, I wanted to do it, to somehow broaden my diving horizon.elinor next to her new nursery

So I came back on August 2014 as an Eco Intern. I first met Lizzie and it was the beginning of one of the most crazy rewarding stress free awesome heart breaking experiences in my life. No seriously, if you've ever been on Koh Tao and dove with Big Blue, you know what I mean. Basically, most of my day were: diving in the morning (for fun or for eco missions) and enjoying my afternoon on Koh Tao.Taking the new structure out

Don't believe it was some kind of lazy thing. I had to work! On holidays! I even had an exam! And we did a lot: surveys, nurseries. Coral watch. Oh my Buddha: coral watch. Going diving with a slate with 24 squares of colours, 4 colours, and 6 shade’s for each, from white (bleached) to dark. And you have to pick up random coral, match its lightest and darkest parts with the shades on the slate and it will give you a rough idea of its health. Sounds easy, right? IT IS NOT. Well, at 5m, it's okay. But at 10m, red disappears and all those coloured squares look exactly the same! Even with a torch! "Hmm is it a brownish-brown or a reddish brown... oh no, maybe a greenish brown..." Totally felt like a colour-blind... The Eco dives I loved the most were by far the ones on the nurseries.

I keep talking about the coral growing there, how awesome and rewarding it is to discover to tiny colony of polyps that has simply started growing there on its own, with us tiding, sewing it on the structures. Baby corals. "They are corals, Elena, they can't be cute...” yeah sure, they don't do funny things, like fetching the stick you've just thrown or anything "responding"... But being down there, cleaning the structures to help more corals and baby polyps to grow, fighting algae and sponge with nothing but a toothbrush (YOU SHALL NOT KILL THE CORALS !), putting new structures down in order to create a nurseries, a new place for coral to grow, for fish to live... It feels like you are doing something. Something that will last over an extended period of time. It's nothing compare to the eco stuffs you can be proud of like putting plastic bottles in the recycle bin or turn the light off. No it's more like a relief. Because you stop damaging this world, you help it to heal. And in ten years, twenty, maybe a new reef will have grown, with a lot of fishes around. If I go back down there again, I would think "It's my reeeeeeef !!!!"

I would rather think "it's my world" and I did what I had to do to protect it, because I am a part of it. Even more as I diver, it is my oceans, my playground and if you want to enjoy it and to be amazed by it for the next 50years (at least) I must understand it and protect it. We should not have to do it though. We should not have to clean up beaches or to do underwater clean-up. Because it should come naturally to anyone's mind that they are responsible for this world, of their world. So no, I should not have to do that but I will, as long as it is needed, because I am an Ecowarrior now.

Thank you Lizzie. Thank you Rachel. Thanks Big Blue. Thanks Koh Tao."

Beach Clean

beach clean Every month we try to do our part in protecting and preserving the reef, enabling it to blossom with life, by removing any artificial contaminants that can have a detrimental effect on the reef.

This month was no exception with up to 30 volunteers helping this month we filled 6 full rubbish bags when walking along the beach and another 8 full bags when diving off North Sairee, all with unwanted waste that was littering the ocean.

With the growing popularity of Koh Tao within the Diving and general tourist community, we need to minimize our impact by working together to keep our beautiful paradise clean, or someday the consequences could be irreversible.  That day was a good example of community care.

Lenora making bins for plastic bottlesLenora's Eco Internship Experience

"Participating in the BB Eco Internship went beyond my expectations.

It opened my eyes and expanded my mind to the true beauty of our oceans and their immense importance to our environment. The program was educational, with the instruction being followed up with practical activities to immediately apply what we learned.

Lots of diving earning several certifications in the process was an added bonus. From working in the nursery, to coral charting and ID with plenty of time for fun dives in between, it was a great balance to enjoy all aspects of the program and Koh Tao. A fantastic experience overall. "

Written by Lenora (June eco intern)

Lenora and Nat on the boat

Swim for Sharks 2014

Shark guardian.orgAn event we organise every year where we aim to make people aware of the decreasing shark populations worldwide, whether from by-catch or finning, the removal of such an apex predator can have disastrous effects on the overall ecosystem within the ocean.

 

This year we had great help from the organisers of Shark Guardian, Liz and Brendan, who did talks for everyone, educating lectures on how detrimental this could be if we allow it to carry on, plus the damage that has already been done, so a great thank you to them.

 

 

Swim for sharks 2014 We would also like to thank our sponsors from all over the Island, which meant along with the swim we were also able to organise a raffle with some amazing prizes, from this raffle and other small events we raised a grand total of 100,000 Baht for shark awareness.

Nat in the eco labMy Eco Internship Experience - June 2014

The first time I came to Koh Tao, was in May 2013 as part of my travel around the world. I dived with Big Blue Diving and enjoyed it so much that I had to come back. A year went by and now I've just finished a month as a eco intern with Big Blue Conservation.

With the internship I've not only learned about marine biology and conservation, but also getting specialised in nitrox and deep diving, CPR training, how to be a better diver and how to treat our most important element in a way so the next generations can enjoy its beauty as well.

Nat on a boatApart from diving with whalesharks, turtles, black tip sharks and loads of other fish around Koh Tao, I've really enjoyed our nursery dives just out of Sairee Beach. The coral nursery is where I can not only feel but also see that we're doing something good for our reef, and with the teaching in BSAC marine conservation I've also learned that even the smallest things make a change.

With Big Blue it's very easy to get lifelong travel friends, my global dive family has extended and this month wouldn't have been the same without any of the people I've met at Big Blue, DMT as well as instructors and fellow eco warriors.

This summer has changed my point of view towards our oceans, and I can definitely recommend getting into marine conservation to everyone who wants to do something different while traveling or just for the summer. With Big Blue Conservation you get to see how the other two-thirds of the world live.

-- Natascha (June eco intern)

Nat with Big Blue friends