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

Big Blue Conservation - Projects

Go Eco! the EcOlympic fundraiser for buoyancy world 2.0 was a huge success yesterday, raising over 5,000 baht to help improve and expand our beloved artificial reef. Big Blue hosted the event, drawing over 200 people to help support our cause! The event included tug-of-war, egg and spoon and sack races, and in the evening beer pong for all! Cheer to everyone who supported the event and helped out - Buoyancy World was designed to alleviate dive pressure from all of us who dive on Koh Tao so its great to see so many divers get involved to help promote low impact diving. There would be no reefs for us to see if we didn't support responsible tourism, so good on you all! Buoyancy World construction start soon, so watch this space if you want to help more!

         

People eat alot of fish. In fact, per capita fish consumption has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. The problem is that there may not be any more fish if we continue catching and consuming them at this rate. To calculate how many more fish are left in the ocean, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation measures how many of each species were caught each year. Assuming that fisherman are catching everything they can (and they usually are), the logic goes that fluctuations in the number of fish caught gives a fairly good indication of fluctuations in the fish population.
In order to promote this, Selfridges store’s Ultra Lounge was transformed into an underwater wonderland. It was all in aid of new initiative Project Ocean, spearheaded by Selfridges creative director Alannah Weston, which challenges the public to imagine a world with ‘no more fish in the sea’ and encourages them to buy sustainable varieties. Continuing the theme, Noah and the whale provided the entertainment in the specially created Dive Bar (geddit?) watched by eco-minded celebrities. All in all, the whole event went swimmingly! And above all, the benefits of eating sustainable fish were reinforced, much like we are advising here at Big Blue. Check out our Thailand Seafood Selector Chart here.

Currently, dive sites and marine parks throughout Thailand are being closed in order to halt the destruction of reefs and allow for recovery of corals in areas that were destroyed during last years bleaching event. In case you didn't know, last year's global bleaching event ended in up to 100% death of some reefs in the Andaman, and 78% mortality in the worst hit areas of Koh Tao. But now, in the wake of these issues a new site is being explored/drilled in the Gulf of Thailand by Salamander Energies, less than 55km from Koh Tao. Please join us on our facebook page here and stand together to ask the government to halt drilling activities until the coral reefs have recovered. If sites are being closed to divers (who have a relatively small impact on reefs) than they should also be protected from the wide scale destruction that is caused by the sediment, effluents, and in the worst case soills that are inherent in oil exploration. We know that we all use oil, and cannot stop the drilling. But this is not the time to open new sites. We ask that a moratorium be put on new locations for the next few years, until reefs are better able to withstand the effects of such activities.

This photo shows a bleached coral covered in sediment last summer during the drought. At the time this photo was taken there had been no rain in months (no erosion), yet there was lots of sediment in the sea, very likely due to oil exploration. Many corals can shut down and survive bleaching events provided there are no other disturbances, if bleaching is combined with other stresses such as pollution/nutrification, sedimentation, or changes in water pH/salinity then they will die, like this coral did. (Photo credit: Chad Scott).

Did you know one million plastic bags are used every minute of the day and almost three millions tonnes of plastic are used to bottle water globally each year? Would it surprise you that 80% of all marine debris is plastic? In some areas of the ocean, plastic outweighs plankton 6:1, and on Koh Tao, 3 turtles were killed last year from ingesting plastic bags.
So a massive thanks to everyone that helped out at the beach and underwater clean up event yesterday, Koh Nang Yuan is now a cleaner paradise. We had a whopping 52 people participate in our monthly clean up this month, and with 6 million tonnes of debris entering the oceans each year, we needed each one of them. So a big thank you to all who helped out - and they got to see a sail fish too!!

Help keep water plastic free by removing plastic bags and bottles on every recreational dive. All plastics can be collected, just make sure there's nothing living in them first though!

 

March may be the best time of the year to be on Koh Tao, not only for the great weather and whale shark migrations, but also for the annual Koh Tao Festival. Come join in this years Save Koh Tao Festival; a two day, Two night celebration of the islands diverse culture and community. Featuring live music from Thai and foreign Raggae, Ska, and World Music Bands as well as DJ's to keep the dancing going till sunrise! So when you've danced your flip flops off at the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan the week before, join us on Sairee Beach on March 25th and 26th.
Don't miss dive schools performances (including the most amazing show by Big Blue of course!), Mr and Mrs Koh Tao, and loads of other competitions! All money raised through the event will go directly towards the funding of the three Save Koh Tao branches, Education, Land Conservation and Marine Conservation.
For last year’s festival we released 49 sea turtles, created a nursery with 1,000 baby giant clams, and raised enough money to add grades 7 and 8 to the local school, for the first time ever. During the day we host talks from experts and professionals to raise awareness, display posters and information for anybody interested in marine and land conservation, and have fun activities for visitors of all ages.