17/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao Suratthani, 84360 Thailand         Info @ Big Blue Diving        +66 (0) 77 456 050

Conservation

Fancy learning all about the underwater realm, learning to dive, and carry out life-changing conservation work in a tropical paradise? Whether you are looking for a life experience you won’t forget, a career break, gap year, improving your CV, starting a career in conservation, voluntary work abroad or just simply looking to broaden your horizons and try something new and exciting, we have the opportunity of a lifetime for you.


One of the key causes of damage on the reef is rubbish that end up in the ocean. Big Blue proudly helps by organizing monthly beach and underwater clean ups and getting involved with most community clean ups. You would be amazed at the amount of rubbish and some of the more unusual items that are found! beach clean volunteers 500 x 281

If your interested in joining us for one of our clean ups then either ask in reception or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  reef clean Nov 500 x 281

Coral nurseries are of increasing importance because Reefs around the globe are 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. Koh Tao currently has a number of coral nurseries using different techniques for research and restoration purposes. It is hoped 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 organisations 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. So far 20 different types of structures have been built and all have been successful.9

Big Blue conservation aims to contribute to this research, so that after a few months trial period the relative price and performance of each method can be optimised before making coral nurseries more widespread around the island. In the future, we would like to see a coral nursery near each dive site, and a few in places that currently are not being dived to provide alternative dive sites.

With nurseries in place in close proximity to dive sites, should a boat anchor or SCUBA 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. 8

For more info visit our website www.bigblueconservation.com or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Buoyancy world a dive site with features designed specifically to take divers through training exercises without causing damage to the reef.

Buoyancy World was designed and constructed by the island’s community and dive schools through Save Koh Tao. The idea is that by teaching buoyancy skills on artificial structures in the water, we can help reduce dramatically the damage being done to the reef accidentally. The project also includes a coral and fish nursery which aims to restore and improve the abundance and biodiversity of Koh Tao’s reefs.60

Features of Buoyancy World include:

* Training aids
* Swim throughs
* Balance beams
* Hover weights
* Rings, hoops and other obstacles
* Search and recovery objects 

For more information on artificial reefs for diver training please visit our website www.bigblueconservation.com or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

biorock1

 

Bio-Rock is a technology that uses low voltage electrical current on artificial underwater structures to encourage growth of Corals and other reef life. Experiments with the technology worldwide have shown that it can help counteract some of the difficult environmental factors affecting coral growth.

In conjunction with Save Koh Tao, Big Blue and a consortium of other dive schools launched a pilot project a few years ago to see if the technology would be successful here. The pilot project has been so successful that a new larger Bio-Rock was constructed in 2008.

 


Biorock2Now that the structure is in situ, regular dives are scheduled to the site for two main reasons. The first is to continue to plant broken Coral pieces on the structure and the second is to continue to monitor the growth of the test subjects. When the structure was first finished, test subjects were placed on the structure and tagged so that their growth could be monitored. This information is collated by Marine Conservation Koh Tao for scientific purposes. When a dive group visits the structure, various data including photographs are taken and then forwarded to Marine Conservation Koh Tao.

For more information on the technology visit www.biorock.net or our conservation site www.bigblueconservation.com

Diving Policy

  1. All dive briefings include low diver impact guidelines, such as warnings not to touch.

  2. All night torches are powered using reusable batteries

  3. All our dive professionals are educated on marine identification and conservation.

  4. As part of the dive professional programmes, divers must contribute to a conservation project, such as coral nursery construction.

  5. Big Blue has adopted North Sairee Beach. This means we are responsible for keeping this area clean and free from fishing.

  6. The last Saturday of every month, Big Blue hosts a Beach and Underwater Clean up, which includes a free dive.

  7. Big Blue organises the Swim for Sharks each year, a 7km sponsored swim to help reias money and awareness for sharks. Last year (2010), we raised 15,000 baht and obtained 460 signatures against shark fishing.

  8. Big Blue is an avid contributor to Save Koh Tao projects, such as Buoyancy World and Koh Tao’s BioRock.

  9. Big Blue wrote BSAC’s Marine Conservation Course, and was the first dive school to offer this international course.

  10. The use of metal pointing sticks and diving gloves are forbidden, to help prevent divers touching the reef.

  11. All dive leaders are educated on appropriate diving etiquette, particularly in the presence of sharks.

  12. On our boats, nothing is allowed to be thrown overboard, including food waste. There are specific bins for recycling and cigarette disposal.

  13. Divers are advised to apply sunscreen an hour before entering the water, as sunscreen can give corals a virus infection.

 

eco-gang

Resort Policy

  1. All batteries are recycled. We have a recycle bin for batteries in our shop for residents.

  2. All shower heads are water-saving, and all leaks and dripping taps quickly rectified.

  3. We strive to use biodegradable washing liquid for our laundry.

  4. Rooms are cleaned using microfibre cloths, requiring no bleach-based chemicals.

  5. When possible, we use our economical side-cart motorbike, known as a ‘salang’, in preference to our taxis.

  6. All printing is done on recycled, non-bleached paper.

  7. All bottles and cans are recycled, and we have easily accessible recycling facilities for residents.

  8. We collect can ringpulls to send to prosthetic limb charity Ring Pulls to Limb.

  9. We plant vetiver grass and lemon grass around our resort to help protect from soil erosion and to act as a natural mosquito repellent.

  10. Where possible, food served in our restaurant is locally sourced from the island. Alternatively, it is bought from sustainable farms on the mainland.

  11. Where possible, we use natural lighting through skylights to light our buildings.

  12. Big Blue has a ‘no straw’ policy. Straws and plastic cutlery are only provided upon specific request.

  13. We are currently working with government officials to educate locals on climate change, including the construction of a climatology centre on the island.

  14. Our staff and Divermaster trainees frequently visit the local school to educate the children on fish and coral, and teach them how to snorkel. Through this, we hope to educate future local generations on the potential resources of their reefs and that we should strive to sustain them.

  15. Our boats are properly maintained to ensure no oil is leaked.

  16. We advise against the use of shampoos and conditioners containing high amounts of preservatives, and offer customer the chance to purchase environmentally friendly washing products. In each bathroom, natural soap is provided which we buy from a local village.

  17. All lights use energy-saving bulbs.

Subcategories

Responsible Tourism

Responsible tourism1At Big Blue, we strive to ecologically-minded in every way possible. We understand the fragility of our island, and that it is a paradise with limited resources. Through numerous projects and initiatives, we work closely with the local community to sustain our local economy and protect our island from the impact of tourism. By choosing to dive with Big Blue, you contribute to our ecological mission whilst enjoying the best diving on the island.

As a small island with an economy dependant on tourism, we understand that there are many restrictions to living a completely ecologically-friendly life. We endeavour to be an eco-minded resort where possible, such as appropriately managing our waste and reducing our water and electrical consumption. As part of the island community, we aim to contribute to Koh Tao’s value by providing income and the financial incentive to protect the area’s natural environments and local communities through buying locally sourced produce.

Big Blue is a unique dive school in that we contribute to worldwide coral reef research. We have had the privileged to assist internationally renowned marine scientists and assist Masters Students conducting field research with us, such as diver-related damage, the impact of discarded nets on our reefs, and the recovery of corals from mass bleaching events. We are the first dive school on Koh Tao to have a team dedicated to this scientific research, which is essential to formulating the policies and guidelines required to protect our reefs for future generations to enjoy. You can see a list of our publications here.

responsible tourism2We strongly believe that communication and sharing of information is the key to the worldwide conservation of our reefs. If you would like know more about how to make your resort more ecologically-friendly, or more about how to implement marine conservation projects such as a coral nursery construction and reef health monitoring projects, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally, although the island remoteness is one of Koh Tao’s many charms, it does hinder some of our conservation efforts. We aim to be as eco-friendly as possible, but our best of intentions cannot always overcome the reality of some situations. To achieve the best results, we work closely with local communities and are regularly adapting our policies to shifts in local rules, laws and culture, in order try to have a positive effect on our local ecosystem. We are always open to suggestions, so if you have any suggestions to improving our policy, please feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you want to know more about our sustainable resource pledge, please check out our Eco Policy, which include tips on how to be an eco-minded tourist.

 

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