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Big Blue Conservation - Koh Tao - Thailand

Congratulations to our Eco graduates!

A very heart felt congratulations to our recent Eco internship graduates! You spent the last month learning all about marine systems, understanding the underwater world and the problems it faces, and practising skills in how to help it. It is thanks to the dedication of eco-minded divers like you that mean we can generate research and gather information in an effort to look after our reefs on Koh Tao and on larger scales too, so THANK YOU!

             

Our class of March 2013 consisted of team Italy - Ettore Baratta, who became an expert in fish identification, Carola Buscemi who is so passionate about recyling she made her own signs, and Aris Thomasberger who we just can't (and never want to!) get rid of. Alissa Muench from Canada was survey queen on every dive she did, Kate Jenkins from the UK helped to set up the Koh Tao Shark Survey, and Joe Morgan helped us reach more people than ever before with our online campaigns. Thanks Eco-people!

So AJ and Tina from Scotland who are starting the internship just now, I expect great things from you guys to keep our eco team as fantastic as ever!!

Full of Eco goodness!

Well another month gone, another successful conservation action done! Congratulations to our super Marine Conservationists who just completed the BSAC Marine Conservation skill development programme as part of their Marine Conservation Internship. Now Harrie, Cait, Nick, Laura, Sophia, Emily, Ashley and Naomi can fly the eco flag high and contribute to conservation all around the world. From here, Harrie is off to work in Australia in Ninglaoo Reserve, Cait is going to save the mantas, Emily is completing a degree in marine science, Sophia is going to start filming all the beautiful aquatic life, Laura and Nick will be snapped up for Divemaster work as all the dive schools want the most Eco friendly divemasters around, Naomi  enforces the law on being green, and Ashley is saving the lives of fish and bananas all round. So pretty much green kings and queens! Cheers guys, congratulations on your jobs in conservation, don't forget us at Big Blue Conservation for all your training when you're rich and famous living in your carbon neutral green-houses eating sustainably sourced goodness!

Stuck for something to do now you've finished exams?

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 you 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.

Our Conservation expedition and Skill Development programme is 4 weeks, including diver training (normally the Open water and Advanced course, but if you already have these we can offer other training such as Rescue or Nitrox), Marine Biology lectures and underwater science training, BSAC Marine Conservation Training, Emergency First Response First aid training, accommodation in one of our air conditioned dorms, and dive equipment rental included.

Then, if that's not enough of a life experience or for the CV, you will have the opportunity to complete a project of your own during the last week, whether it's a fundraiser, education tool, or marine research project. And did I mention the huge celebration we will have at the end??

Now here's the best bit - normally 28,500 baht, if you book with us before October 30th, all this is only 25,000 baht! Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more and for dates of our expeditions in 2013, or have a look at our Conservation Expedition page

             

As a leading diver training centre, you will be taught how to dive by experienced qualified instructors. During your first week, volunteers take part in SCUBA training they will be qualified as divers at both open water and advanced open water level. If you are already qualified, no worries! For volunteers that are looking to improve their diving qualifications beyond the advanced open water level this too can be achieved whilst volunteering, such as Nitrox, Deep, Wreck qualifications, or further your diver training and become a Rescue Diver. Any volunteers that do not require dive training can join the expedition as part of the main group a week later, and fin dive in the first week instead with our excellent Divemaster team.

So why Big Blue? Big Blue Conservation offers a unique experience in the world of Marine Conservation and Diver training. Not only do we have trained scientific staff on board with academic verification and years of experience, we have gifted and experienced instructors to offer an incredible range of extra diver training.

Well done conservation crew!

Congratulations to, Abbie Sherwood, Mark Crowder, Ami Bigness, Emily-Jane Robinson, Sainbou Secka, Rohan Allen Carly Marsh and Scott Lillico who have all just completed their BSAC Marine Conservation Course.

Well done to all!

If you are interested in taking this course or would like to know more about course contents please contact Jennifer Mathews at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the BSAC Thailand website at this link: http://www.bsacthailand.com/bsac-dive-training/marine-conservation.html

"Amazing atmosphere and an inspiring experience"

"Dear Eco Jen

Thank you for having me as your Eco Intern for the past three weeks. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone at Big Blue Diving for making my stay that much more interesting. I loved feeling part of the family and considered 'just one of us' even if it meant lugging a crate - or a box of biscuits - every now and then. I think the atmosphere and the people working there had a big influence and set the tone for some of the most amazing experiences (WHALE SHARK!!) of my Gap Year. I really appreciate all the time everyone took to get to know and integrate me despite only passing through for an all too short 3 weeks. Without the wonderful DM's etc.. I'm sure I wouldn't have had half as much fun! I'll see whoever is still left there in exactly one year!

Big Blue Conservation's enthusiasm and passion for conservation coming through all the science was inspiring. What struck me the most about the team was seeing how driven and focused you were and yet how accessible and friendly you remained. More importantly I really enjoyed meeting people with similar strong interests in conservation and science (genetics just seems so captivating, doesn't it?). My time spent with Big Blue Conservation made me realize how easy it is with some dedication and commitment to (and I hate to be cheesy, but it fits) make a difference. I can only hope that I'll carve a niche for myself that so nicely complements my two passions; archeology and the ocean. 

To wind it all down, I wanted to let you know how much meeting you all gave me such a clearer picture of where I want to head and what I want to achieve. - Cami "

Thank you Cami! You were a pleasure to have and I hope you come back soon!

Become shark smart!

In some form, sharks have been around for about 400 million years. Even before dinosaurs roamed the earth, sharks hunted through the oceans!  They're such good survivors that they've had little need to evolve in the last 150 million years.

These ancient predators fascinate divers and non divers alike. Many shark species are in danger of becoming extinct but you can give sharks a fighting chance by taking the AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive Speciality course. Now available to complete at Big blue, you will learn all about the sharks 7 senses, about amour plated skin, and about the largest fish in the ocean! Whether you dive or not, you can partake in this one day course, and if you're thinking of doing your advanced it can also count as one of your adventure dives. You also get to keep a shark conservation manual that you can learn even more from.

For a limited time too, we will give you a "free give sharks a fighting chance" mask strap. To book this course, drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Congratulations Eco-people!

Congratulations to our latest BSAC Marine Conservation divers! Neil Draycott, James Campbell, Dave Mead, Lica Christensen and Adam Britton completed their underwater education on all things marine. They are now certified to survey the marine life all around the world. Neil is so excited about being eco we can't shut him up about calcium carbonate and coral! so much so he's becoming a BSAC Marine Conservation Instructor! The Eco-army is growing...

       

Happy New Year Eco warriors!!

It's been one incredible year & Big Blue Conservation would like to thank you all for getting involved, helping out and making sure that Koh Tao stays green and clean! So let us just say one huge thank you to all our volunteers and to all Big Blue guests for choosing to stay and dive with Big Blue, one of Koh Tao's most eco-friendly resorts. Also a big thank you to Save Koh Tao and fellow eco teams on Koh Tao. We would like to wish you all a very happy new year, see you all in 2012 when there will be even more opportunities for you all to do something good for our paradise island!

BSAC Thailand Eco-Initiavtives

BSAC Thailand, is licensed by BSAC International to independently operate the BSAC training system both commercially and in our dive branches, in Thailand. As well as offering the full range of BSAC training, BSAC Thailand, headed by their Marine Conservation Advisor, Jennifer Matthews, have been actively developing and promoting Conservation issues including developing a BSAC Marine Conservation Course. The course includes components such as : 1. Buoyancy workshop 2. Ocean environment 3. Coral Reefs 4. State of the reefs 5. Conservation Practical dives during the course start with an important check on buoyancy skills and include using transects and quadrats to survey various marine life on the reef to assess the health of the environment.

             

       

"Divers are ambassadors to the underwater world, and without the data collected by divers trained in underwater conservation techniques, policies are unlikely to be made, let alone be accurate. It’s very easy to get involved in conservation work and it starts with being a responsible tourist, so find the 'eco-minded' centers and ask them how you can get involved. You may even end up with a free dive!" Jennifer Matthews, BSAC Thailand Marine Conservation Advisor Conservation activities are an increasingly important part of the work of responsible ‘Eco’ dive resorts like Big Blue, Koh Tao, Thailand. As well as regular ‘Beach Cleans’ and ‘Underwater cleans’ there are also other featured activities including ‘Swim4Sharks’. The work of BSAC Thailand and their Conservation Advisor will continue and regular reports will follow.

Congratulations Eco 'Mushroom coral' Laura!

Well done Laura! Laura Weiand has just completed her 6 weeks training in Marine Conservation with Big Blue, entailing a fantastically conducted and researched investigation into the population structure of mushroom coral fields on Koh Tao. Laura is completeing her Master degree with Leiden University and was under the supervision of Dr Bert Hoeksema, the prostiguous Mushroom coral expert from NCB Naturalis with whom Big Blue Conservation frequently collaborates with. Laura showed excellent commitment to the project (and theme parties too!) and we hope to see her back here very soon!

If you're interested in completeing an ecological internship, whether just for fun or for university credit, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And don't worry if you're not a diver already, we can provide you with all the training, equipment and supervision to become the next aquatic David Attenborough!!

Congrats to the first BSAC Marine Conservationists!

To raise funds and awareness for this years grand Save Koh Tao project, Buoyancy World 2.0, Big Blue is hosting this years Beach Olympics! With games such as tug-of-war, egg and sppon race, sack race during the day (with more drink orientated games at night of course...) and drink offers all day and night, great DJs and all for a good cause!! So bring you friends, your best beach olympic body and join in the fun! Events start at 5 pm until 10.30pm, when the last contest will be 'how many foam pies can you throw at a member of Big Blue's staff'!! Well, now you really can't miss that!

Marine Ecology at TDEX

To launch Big Blue Conservation's new BSAC Marine Conservation speciality diving course, Jen gave a talk on Marine Ecology at this year's Thailand Dive Exposition in Bangkok. This event is attended by numerous Thailand dive centres and divers alike, so it was a great opportunity to get the word out about how divers can get involved in marine conservation, and how one of Thailand's most amazing assests, its coral reefs, need preserving. The event went tremendously, with a lot of enthusiasm from dive schools in Thailand, Japan and Malaysia to teach the new specialised practical Marine Conservation course. Having all these divers eager to learn more about the reefs they relish to dive is great news for reefs around the world. I can hear the Durban Dancing Shrimp starting the party already...

 

BSAC with Big Blue Conservation launch Marine Conservation Speciality!

As divers, we are in the prime position to help our reefs remain the paradise they are today.To help educate and alert divers of the problems affecting the reefs, Big Blue Conservation has helped construct a new speciality supported by BSAC on Marine conservation.  Also, as an observational sport, knowing a little more about what you see underwater and improving your buoyancy skills and air consumtion will help make every dive count.  

The BSAC Marine Conservation Speciality Diving Course

1. Buoyancy workshop - including two buoyancy skills dives

2. Ocean environment

3. Coral Reefs - including marine identification dives and night dive

4. State of the reefs

5. Conservation - including two ecological monitoring, reef restoration and practical conservation dives

The official launch of the course is in May, but because we're special, Big Blue Conservation will be teaching this course now! For more information, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Well done Nat!!

Congratualtions Nathalie for finishing your internship! Nathalie was here for two months completing the field research element of her masters degree. She showed excellent organisation and research skills, and exeptional survey and coral identification skills.

             

Nathalie's project was looking at diver impact on coral reefs. Using roving diver observations, she surveyed damaged to reefs by divers, whether it was intentional or accidental, and whether level of diver experience correlates with impact caused. She also surveyed a number of our reefs to survey overall damage using a quadrat survey (see the pictures below). This work will be essential for implementing appropriate carrying capacity regulations at our reefs on Koh Tao.

So thank you Nathalie, really excellent work and a pleasure to have you here! No doubt we will be seeing alot of Nathalie in future conservation research.

 

Congratulations Conservation Specialist Ruth and James!

A big blue round of applause for our latest graduates of the Conservation Specialist course! Ruth and James from Nottingham, UK, are now Shark Diving, Perfectly Buoyant, Underwater Naturalist Extraordinaries! They managed to see a turtle, dive in the presence of Bull Sharks, and face plant a few times in the buoyancy obstacle course. Also, they collected drupella snails that are damaging reefs around Koh Tao. Fantastic course guys, well done!

                             

                           

Congratulations Mel!

Congratulations Mel! Our lovely EcoIntern Mel graduates today, after completing her 4 week internship learning all about the marine life and its conservation needs and efforts around the world. Her final project is a video on Big Blue Conservation efforts and acheivements for 2010, so watch this space for the video! She will have to undergo one final test however, tonight is her Challenge, a full night of humiliation and buckets. Oh how we treat our EcoInterns for helping saving the world. Her theme will be Pirates, just like those horrid Pirate whale fishing boats killing nearly 1000 whales a year. So shiver me timbers Mel, what a fantastic EcoIntern you arrrrrrre!

 

What have you done for nature lately?

Moreover, what have you done for your diving career lately? Why not do both at the same time. Forward your diving education whilst contributing to essential conservation activities on Koh Tao.

Why not learn Marine ID so you can identify the wonderful marine life you see. Or maybe learn Perfect Buoyancy which not only improves you air usage and confidence underwater, but prevents you accidentally harming the marine life. Perhaps you'd like to become a Shark Diver and learn all about these wonderful apex predators. Or maybe learn Underwater Digital Photography, so you can capture the marine life and practice using equipment underwater essential for conservation research. Or you could do three of these specialities and become a CONSERVATION SPECIALIST! Learn new and exciting skills whilst becoming an ecologically minded diver - everyone wins! Only a 3 day course for 8,640 THB, it's hard to resist. Dieuwertje Hoornstra couldn't and she is now a Conservation Specialist. She says 'I wanted to continue my diving studies, but didn't want to do the rescue course. This course was perfect, very enjoyable to do and I felt like I learnt so much about things I never knew existed in the water!' Thanks Dieuwertje, come back soon!

 

Congratulations Marie!

Congratulations Marie! She has spent the last month learning all about marine life, its world decline and its conservation both on land and in the water. Well deserved Marie, well done!


So what have you done for nature lately? If you fancy doing an EcoInternship like Marie, have a look at our Eco Courses page. In just 4 weeks, you will learn more about marine identification, how coral reef ecosystems function, and their conservation needs world wide. As divers, we are often blamed for the degradation of coral reefs, however we are also in the best position to do something about it. Reefs are already degraded in 93 of the 109 countries in which they occur, so if you fancy doing something good for the ocean as well as learning some valuable new skills under the water, come and do the Eco internship with Big Blue Conservation. For just 25,000, you get 3 specialities in monitoring and marine resource management, including all diving equipment rental and unlimited diving, great discounts around the resort, and you can do something good for nature! Hard to refuse!

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