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

Big Blue Conservation - Projects

calling all Eco divers! The weather is still unpredictable, but we are hoping to deploy the Buoyancy World site this Wednesday. We will prepare and be ready, but if the boat captain says no then we may have to postpone to the following week. Stay optimistic, visualize calm seas, and pray for the best. If all goes well the schedule will be as follows: 8:00 am Clean-up site and set-up for ceremony 9:00 am Monk Ceremony 10:00 am Tie up structures and prepare for transportation 11:30 am Load onto trucks and transport to pier 1:30 pm Depart from Mae Haad 2:00 pm Arrive at Twins, attach mooring points 2:30 pm Begin lowering western most structures (deep) 5:30 pm Depart Twins 6:00 pm Return to Mae Haad Stay tuned for updates!

Our favourite anti-whaling crew are causing quite a stir. However, Tokyo, Japan have released that they will go ahead with its whaling program in the Antarctic later this year under heightened security to fend off the Sea Shepherd activists who have vowed to disrupt the annual hunt, the country’s fisheries minister said Tuesday. Japan’s whale hunts have become increasingly tense in recent years because of clashes with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The most recent expedition was cut short after several high-seas confrontations, and it was unclear whether the hunt would be held at all this year. But fisheries minister Michihiko Kano said that measures would be taken to ensure the whalers’ safety, and that the hunt would go ahead. It is expected to begin in December.

“We intend to carry out the research after enhancing measures to assure that it is not obstructed,” he said. Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986, but Japan conducts whale hunts in the Antarctic and the northwestern Pacific under an exception that allows limited kills for "research" purposes. Research, hey? - Whale meat can still be found in stores and restaurants in Japan. Japan’s government claims the research is needed to provide data on whale populations so that the international ban on commercial whaling can be re-examined — and, Japan hopes, lifted — based on scientific studies. Opponents say the program is a guise for keeping Japan’s dwindling whaling industry alive. The Sea Shepherd group, which is already rallying to block the upcoming hunt, has been particularly dogged in its efforts to stop the kills. If you want to help support our friends of the sea's efforts, visit www.seashepherd.org

Clownfish, the spectacular tropical species (a.k.a. 'Nemo') appear to lose their hearing in water slightly more acidic than normal. At levels of acidity that may be common by the end of the century, the fish did not respond to the sounds of predators.

The oceans are becoming more acidic because they absorb much of the CO2 that humanity puts into the atmosphere: here's the chemical bit... The oceans are thought to have absorbed about half of the extra CO2 put into the atmosphere in the industrial age. pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity, and seawater is mildly alkaline with a "natural" pH of about 8.2. The IPCC forecasts that ocean pH will fall by "between 0.14 and 0.35 units over the 21st Century, adding to the present decrease of 0.1 units since pre-industrial times". And with carbon emissions continuing to rise, researchers predicted most reefs around the world would be in serious trouble before the end of the century. Sounds are important for fish to detect predators, locate mates, hunting, foraging and if any or all of those capacities are gone, you'd have a very lost fish! The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more the oceans absorb - and the more they absorb, the more acidic the water becomes. So a team of scientisits from Britsol University, UK, tested fish response in seawater with varying degrees of increased acidity - all of which may be the acidity of our oceans if we continue to emit a surplus of CO2. In this experiment, the fish could decide whether to swim towards or away from an underwater loudspeaker replaying the sounds of predators recorded on a reef, with shrimps and fish that would take a small clownfish. In water with today's levels of CO2, the fish spent three-quarters of the time at the opposite end of the tube from the loudspeaker. But at higher concentrations, they showed no preference. This suggests they could not hear, could not decipher or did not act on the warning signals. "What we have done here is put today's fish in tomorrow's environment, and the effects are potentially devastating." Concern about ocean acidification has arisen considerably more recently than alarm over global warming; but already there is ample evidence that it could bring significant changes to ocean life. Will we be able to still Find Nemo??

Buoyancy World 2.0 is now finally deployed! After waiting for the weather to clear, divers from Koh Tao have finally been able to deploy our new improved diver training center. A huge thank you to everybody who helped out with the Buoyancy World Project - from the ideas, fundraising, building and the deployment, it wouldn't have been possible without out our fantastic dive community effort. A small team of volunteers put in a very hard day of work yesterday and completed the job with no injuries... or problems. Really things could not have gone better – perfect weather, clear water, and a fun group of people. Of course there is still a lot of hard work to be done to assemble all the structures under the water, which the various teams will do over the next week. We can’t wait to unveil this site to the people diving on Koh Tao, and hope that they use it and enjoy as much as we do. Thanks again to everybody who helped yesterday - we can now all look forward to diving it soon!

In just 25 years, our consumption rate of plastic bags has grown from almost zero to our use of over 500,000,000,000 (that’s 500 billion) plastic bags annually … almost 1 million per minute.According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags. * Plastic bags cause hundreds of thousands of birds, sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year because these creatures mistake plastic trash for food. * Countries like China, Ireland, Australia, Bangladesh have banned or have placed restrictions on single use plastic bags. Taiwan banned plastic bag and plastic utensils as a way to reduce 60,000 metric tons of waste per year they deal with each year. * According to the BBC, only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled. At Big Blue, you can bring in your plastic bags and we will reuse them - just look for the plastic bag recycle bin out side the Eco Lab. Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime, which is why we also sell 'bag for life' canvas bags for only 100 baht - 50% of which goes to conservation research at Big Blue! So you can look eco-cool and feel good bout it too! Remember every piece of plastic ever produced and not recycled still exists!