Coral nurseries are becoming more and more important because coral reefs around the globe are increasingly threatened by human activities. Like many parts of the world, the economy on Koh Tao is reliant upon our natural reef areas and the visitors they bring to the island.
Koh Tao currently has a number of coral nurseries, using different techniques for research and restoration purposes. As a community, we hope that coral colonies from these nurseries can help add to the reefs around Koh Tao and provide a means of restoring damaged areas faster than would naturally occur, as well as providing additional dive sites. A number of organizations, including Save Koh Tao and dive operators on Koh Tao, have begun constructing small coral nurseries to test the feasibility and success of different methods.
Big Blue Conservation aims to contribute by building a smaller artificial reef close to the resort, which we can maintain and encourage to grow. Encouraging coral growth in an area affected by constant human activity will help the natural marine life in the area by creating a new habitat.
In the future, we would like to see artificial reefs near each dive site, and a few in places that currently are not being dived, to provide alternative dive sites. With nurseries in close proximity to dive sites, should a boat anchor or divers break the corals, those fragments can be quickly brought to a secure growing area until they become large enough to transplant back onto the dive site. The nurseries themselves also serve as habitats for fish and a variety of other marine organisms, helping to maintain the reef abundance and biodiversity around Koh Tao.