One of the leading threats to our planets coral reefs is the release of sediment and nutrients from land into coastal areas, known as eutrophication. These nutrients come from both local and distant sources on land, generally from development, deforestation, agriculture, and pollution/waste water discharge. Slow growing corals are unable to utilize these increased nutrient levels, but fast growing macro-algae can. When coastal areas are enriched with nutrients, coral reefs can quickly be lost, and replaced with much less productive and diverse macro-algae ecosystems.
Although this effect is directly observable and has been scientifically recorded again and again, combating the issue is difficult. Nutrient levels and ocean chemistry fluctuate greatly on a global scale, and agricultural and development projects far from the sea can still wreak havoc through transport by rivers. The scope and scale of the problem make identification of nutrient or pollution sources difficult.
New Heaven dive school is now pleased to offer our customers professional videos of their time here, by Aquatic Images. For those who choose this service, Andreas, a longtime friend and videographer on Koh Tao, will accompany you on your dives and film your holiday and the amazing marine life you see underwater. Then, before you leave, you will get a DVD of the video, along with some of his favorite short videos from the island.
No matter if you are taking the Open water and diving for the first time, or participating in one of our advanced marine conservation courses, Andreas will make a great video of your experience. There is nothing better to share with friends and family, and remember your holiday for years to come.
If you would like to receive this service, then please just let us know when you are signing up. If you want to check out some of the great videos made by Aquatic Images and Andreas then check out the promotional video he made for us below, or on his YouTube channel
In 1998, 16% of the hard corals in the world died. That’s right, almost a fifth of all the coral in the world knocked out in a single year, and most people have never even heard about it. The cause of this widespread death of corals was that 1998 was the hottest year on record for oceans (both for the records kept since 1860, and the records going back 800,000 years through ice core data). In 1998, sea surface temperatures rose by 1-3 Deg. Celsius, and the first recorded global bleaching event occurred.
When most people think of artificial reefs, they think of structures that will add habitat to attract corals, fish, and other reef animals. But what about creating artificial reefs to attract people? SCUBA diving has quickly become one of the most important marine based tourism industries in the world, with an estimated 30 million divers having been certified by 2012, and about 1 million people currently learning to dive each year (Lew 2013). The attraction of diving in beautiful and diverse coral reefs is a major economic contributor to the 23 countries around the world that receive more than 15% of their GDP from reef-tourism (Wongthong and Harvey 2014).
Koh Tao is a great example of this effect, as it is now listed as 2nd in the world for the number of SCUBA certifications each year. In 2002 (the most recent published data), the island contributed about 500 million baht to the Thai economy through tourism, with a majority of the tourists coming for diving. This boom has been great for the economy here and in other locations around the globe, but what are the costs?
Drupella snail management on our island is set to make a major leap forward this year. On Wednesday, the 11th of February we will be launching a Crowdfunder page in order to raise the money we need to construct a ‘Drupella dredger’, a large underwater vacuum to suck the little predatory snails right up off the corals. Based on our project plans, we expect the device to cost about 1,800 GBP to construct, but once it is built it can easily be transported to any local reef needing it, and should last for years.
At the moment, we need your help to spread the word and assist us in raising the money to build it. You can pledge any amount, from 2 GBP to 200 GBP, which will greatly help us on our way to achieving our goal. You can also help by spreading the word, and sharing the news about this vital project.