C.O.R.A.L Conservation Of Reefs and Aquatic Life KOH TAO, THAILAND
This one-day course is available to anyone who has completed a PADI certified open water course, and for those who wish to make a difference. We at C.O.R.A.L concentrate on the value of keeping our natural resources abundant, with minimal impact on aquatic life and natural habitats.
The C.O.R.A.L experience involves a morning where you learn to understand captive propagation of corals, under controlled conditions, and a hands-on ‘fragging workshop’ to prepare new specimens. The afternoon consists of two dives where captive specimens are re-introduced back into the reef, and new coral colonies are collected for analysis upon return. We aim to record data from all dive sites around Koh Tao to get a better understanding of why certain species appear, and what preventative measures can be taken to help save our reefs. Our future objectives are to re-introduce lesser-seen species to Koh Tao, such as sea horses, rays, shrimps, and even sharks…do you want to learn more and be part of the solution?
One day course – 3,500 THB (includes all related equipment)
Unlimited experience – 9,500 THB. Available for Dive-Careers.com Divemaster and Instructor candidates at Buddha View Dive Resort, who wish to help during their stay on Koh Tao
THE EXPERIENCE STRUCTURE:
- Starting between 9-10am (dependent on group size)
- Briefing of ideas and goals of the day and how, overtime, our efforts will sustain aquatic life. Providing information, differences and advantages between captive and naturally occurring specimens. Includes information on growth rates, water parameters (e.g. temperature, ph levels, salinity, nitrate, nitrites, phosphates etc), climate change, human interference (e.g. divers, waste management etc), and what preventative measures can be taken.
- Briefing on fragging and its importance in sustaining our reefs and its inhabitants.
- Everyone to wash hands thoroughly.
- Workshop – a hands-on experience. Begin by examining the specimens and collecting data (what it is, its size, water parameters, lighting requirements etc).
- Fragging Workshop. Encompassing everything previously discussed, the customer now has the opportunity, under supervision, to physically frag the captive coral. Data is then collected and recorded on the newly fragged specimens (size, species, position etc).
- Corals ready for re-introduction to the reef, can then be picked in preparation for the afternoon dive
- Meet at 12.15pm in preparation for diving. An explanation of the afternoons objectives follows.
- First Dive. Objective is to take customers with selected coral and guide them to appropriate locations for re-introduction. Locations for this will be confirmed in prior briefing (e.g. correct depth for species type, potential currents etc). Remainder of time will be a fun dive for the customer until our three minute safety stop where a water sample will be collected at 5m depth, for analysis on return.
- Second Dive. Concentrating on the collection of new coral colonies, preferably already broken through human or natural cause. Explaining to the customer that broken specimens are less likely to survive if left unaided. Again, remainder of time to be fun dive with water sample taken at 5m safety stop (on the basis of a different dive site).
- Return to dive school with new specimens and water samples for data recording. End with final conclusion on what has been achieved and how it will aid sustainability.
- Customer email addresses taken for follow-up thank you message and certificate.
- The coral specimens taken from dive 2, will stay within the tanks for a set minimum time period, to enable them to grow sufficiently for reintroduction.
- This way, each customer sets up the next and the cycle continues.
Over an extended period of time, several valuable pieces of data can be obtained for each dive site in Koh Tao. We will then be able to have a better understanding of why certain species only appear/do not appear at certain locations around the island. As well as many other things.
The day course fee is 3,500 baht, including all equipment, 2 fun dives and a tutor/guide.
The course will also be available to DMT/IDC/MSDT students. They will be able to assist myself and customers for the whole duration of their internship, gaining more knowledge than a student that hasn’t taken the above course. I believe this to be a great form of extra curricular activity for any student wanting to better their chances of employment.