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

Big Blue Conservation - Say no to oil drilling around Koh Tao during 2011

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).