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

Big Blue Conservation - Projects

Wow is all I can say! We had an absolutely amazing day at the Swim for Sharks 2012 on Koh Tao! It all kicked off with a shark ecology and conservation lecture by marine biologist Jen Matthews, followed by a talk by James Brooks who has been on the Sea Shepard expeditions for the last 3 years. Around 100 people came to learn about the sharks and what we can do to help. So what did we do to help?? We swam! 72 people swam the 3.4 km around Koh Nang Yuan. Everyone did really well, with the winning title going to Nick Bufton from Big Blue, followed by Serena Gibbons (BIg Blue) and our very own manager of Big Blue - Jim Donaldson. Well done you guys! After the looong hard swim, we all cam back to the bar for some refreshments (wink wink)! But people were still thinking about next years swim and started streamlining themselves - by shaving their heads!? Everyone got involved and no-one had any regrets the next day at work... We had live music from Nok la Fiesta and The Curious Turtles who were all great! So how much did we raise - well thanks to T shirt sales, swimmers sponsorship, donations from the bar, donations from our shark shavers, and generous other donations, we raised.....drum roll please... 123,000 baht!! All the money raised will go toward purchasing sharks kept in captivity in Pattaya and Bangkok, and releasing them with a radio tag attached so that we can monitor their behaviours and population dynamics around Thailand. Thanks to the money raised, we can help keep our reefs diverse and functioning as they should. Plus they're quite fun to see when you dive! A huge thank you must go out to all of those that helped with the event - James, Ami, Bethan, Becky and Darren. See you all next year - I'm starting my training now!

Great news from Save Koh Tao's Marine Conservation branch - the new Director for the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) is so impressed with the work that members of the Koh Tao community have been doing the last 4 years that he has promised up tons of new artificial reef structures and other assistance. Next year he plans to add artificial reefs in every Adopt-A-Reef site, including ours in Sairee to be used in conjunction with the coral nursery tables, which we will also be getting more of.

Another bonus, the 6 dive schools involved in the Adopt-A-Reef program will be getting certifications and recognition from the DMCR and Thai Government for their work, get the DMCR logo on their schools, get special certification cards with the DMCR logo, and get promoted in DMCR and related (TOT, etc) publications and signage!

Congratulations and thank you to Ban's, Big Blue, Crystal, Koh Exist, New Heaven, and Sunshine for all your hard work and dedication over the years! See what a small dive community can do?!

The best T-shirts I've seen in a long while! Eco Intern Swan and Instructor Anne are both sporting excellent eco-friendly T-shirts. Where did you get them from girls - they're great!

Can you hear it? No? Neither can I, but I assure you it is happening. Tragically and silently, human carelessness results in precious marine life being killed by man-made waste in the ocean…every day. So on behalf of the ocean we ask for your help: because together we can stop this silent killer before it is too late. We need people like you, people who care about the ocean, to take a stand with us! In today’s “throw-away” society, it is all too easy to forget that we are drowning the ocean planet in our trash like plastic bottles and bags: plastics that never biodegrade in the ocean and instead break down into even smaller pieces that remain a danger to marine animals that mistake them for food. The impact is both massive and horrific, and we urgently need your help to stop this. Please offer your support for our weekly Beach & Land clean up meeting every Saturday from 10am at our Big Blue Conservation Eco Shack. Or for more details please write to Eco Jen on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Think Globally, Act Locally!

Each year 73 million sharks are killed for their fins. 64 species of sharks were named as Endangered by the IUCN last year. Many restaurants in Thailand sell shark steaks or shark fin soup. So one island and one city in Thailand decided to do something about it!

Last year in September, Koh Tao hosted the Swim for Sharks 2013. 76 people swam 3.4 km around an island, 31 people shaved fins into their heads, and they raised over 120,000 baht for shark conservation. Unfortunately, a huge number of businesses from restaurants to hotels and conference centres display sharks in tanks or serve shark fin soup all around the world.

So Dive Tribe and The Swim for Sharks decided to use the money raised to purchase sharks on display in tanks in Thailands restaurants and hotels, and sharks from markets being sold for their meat, and educate the owners as to why they should not keep sharks in tanks or fish them. These sharks are special too - over 70 sharks will be tagged with RF and simple identification tags so that when we do release them, we can monitor their movements, where we see them and if any turn up in the markets again, we can get an idea of where they are mainly being fished. All data will be monitored in the Koh Tao Shark Survey, a public data entry forum where you too can participate, if you ever spot a shark on Koh Tao. This information will help us understand the populations around our island and help us protect and conserve these valuable apex predators.

Together with Dive Tribe in Pattaya, Big Blue Conservation is housing the Koh Tao Shark release. So if you're looking for a good time of year to visit us, make sure its around the 7th - 8th of February. There will be a chance to adopt your own shark and name the tag, and even release the shark yourself! Don't miss this!