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

Big Blue Conservation - Projects

Koh Tao has gained exponential popularity over the last five years, however still suffers the primitive waste water system that cannot sustain the current demand. For the last 4 years, companies have been building over the evidence, the grey water stream that runs through Sairee Beach. Big Blue has not covered it up, in an attempt that some day we may be able to improve the water quality that current expels directly into Sairee Bay.
Enter Big Blue Conservation!
Constructed wetlands uses reeds and other wetland plants to filter and recycle waste water through their roots. A constructed wetland consists of a gravel bed on which suitable wetland plants are grown. As water passes through the substrate, it is purified through the activity of bacteria attached to the gravel, plant roots, soil and other particles. The many natural processes operating within constructed wetland ecosystems are dynamic, robust, and offer superior wastewater treatment that is difficult to reproduce mechanically or chemically. The systems can withstand shock loadings and volume changes while maintaining a consistent discharge quality clean enough to be released straight into the oceaan, as the Poonama canal does. There is a growing body of research characterizing the ability of wetland plants to neutralize complex organic compounds including pharmaceuticals and pesticides, thus making it safer for bathers and recycling. They are long lasting, low maintenance and naturally regenerative. As natural habitats for many butterflies and plants, the wetland would provide an attractive entrance to Big Blue, therefore providing aesthetic, commercial and habitat value.
Its cheap and easy to build, and part of becoming an SSI Eco Dive centre requires us to manage our waste water as best we can. By investing in a constructed wetland system, you can truly claim to be a responsible steward of the environment, bringing human activity more closely into balance with nature. You can reduce your impact on municipal infrastructure, help conserve waste water with the potential for reuse, and help to provide wildlife habitat, all while treating wastewater to high standards for release into the ocean.
So watch this space - there going to be a beautiful wetlaand awaiting you next time you come to Big Blue!

Divers from all over Koh Tao ditched their scuba gear yesterday in favour of the more traditional sport of swimming. Sounds like we were having a day off? My aching muscles will tell you definately not! In order to raise awareness and support against shark finning, we swam the whole 3km around Koh Nang Yuan! The day helped raise over 300 signatures for Projects AWARE's Help Give Sharks a Fighting Chance campaign, as well as over 17,000 baht to support the work of Shark Alliance and Project AWARE. It was an amazing day - there's alot that we can give for conservation, including our muscles! Well done guys!!
Divers around the world are outraged at the latest Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which rejected proposals for the protection of 8 species of sharks which the IUCN deemed worthy of protection, including Hammerheads, Spiny Dogfish, Porbeagle and Oceanic Whitetip sharks. Currently there are three species of sharks listed as protected from International Trade - the Whale, Great White and Basking sharks. However this year in March, the 8 species failed to recieve the required two-thirds vote majority by just one vote, representing victory for narrow, short-term economic interests over science and the myriad long term benefits of conservation.
To fight this appauling outcome, divers around the world are joining together by signing a petition. Project AWARE will deliver our signatures to CITES Party representatives at the end of this month, so that when the party next meets, that two-thrids majority will be a sure thing.
Declare your concern too, by signing the petition here. In signing the petition you will join divers and activists worldwide calling on parties for the next CItes Conference to:
- Heed all available Scientific advice for limiting shark catches;
- Fully protect shark species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN;
- Set precautionary shark fishing limits (where no advice exists);
- Ensure all shakrs are landed with their fins naturally attached;
- Work with other countries to prepare and promote shark listing proposals for the next CITES Conference and;
- Improve shark trade data collection by taking national action to list all species proposed at CITES 2010 on Appedix III befroe the next CITES meeting in 2013.
We call on governments around the world to heed scientific advice to provide better protection for all sharks and their ocean ecosystem.

Staff, DMTs and eco warriors alike joined forces yesterday for a full day of meccano making fun! we constructed 6 separate coral nursery structures and put them down off Sairee. Coral nurseries are an excellent way to help the rehabilitation and restoration of reefs, by taking fragments of coral which would otherwise perish in the sand and giving them a nice hard surface to grow! Thanks to everyone that helped - you finally got to play with coral! Great effort and big thanks to Prince of Songkla University for helping us with the project.

2010 has been an extraordinary year around the world. Very warm sea temperatures due to the ENSO effect, coupled with flat, calm seas and intense sunlight on Koh Tao has lead to severe stresses on our corals. Most of the coral bleached, a good proportion of them are currently in a state of recovery and unfortunately a few have died.

In light of these events the people of the Save Koh Tao Group, together with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and scientists from the Prince of Songkhla University have embarked on an ambitious project to regenerate the coral population of our small island. Take a look at our progress! Many dive schools over the island, including Crystal, Bans, New Heaven, Blacktip and of course Big Blue have been working very hard for the last week to put these structures in the water. So come take a look at ours - it's just west of Navakid's buoyline!

           

Students at Big Blue are exchanging their BCDs for lab coats and their masks for lab goggles today as they get stuck in to some science! We are collecting samples of algae from corals to investigate the impact of the bleaching last year on symbiotic algae communities. Sound interesting? Come to learn to dive with Big Blue and you could help study the wonderful underwater world with Big Blue Conservation (lab coats not provided).