It was Full Moon and time for our monthly Eco Day with Sairee Cottage Diving, Roctopus Dive, Scuba Junction and Goodtime Thailand. This time we were joined by a team from Crystal Dive, Bans and New Heaven dive shops.
Lectures began earlier at 9am at Goodtime Café as we needed more time from the Coral Gardening organisation to talk about their artificial reef project that we are going to help create on Koh Tao. They talked about where their passion for diving came from, they started diving with Chad Scott. And the best part of their presentation was the artificial reef project that the Get Involved group will help to build and install. From creating the structures through regular workshops for the DMT’s, staff and volunteers to the installation next to a dive site which has yet to be decided and management of reef as it evolves.
Below is a short video about the Coral Garden project for Koh Tao and what we hope to achieve.
The first workshop was done that afternoon, some learnt to weld, others created the frames for petals for the underwater flowers, others mixed concrete to make the first petals.
For the first time Chad Scott from New Heaven dive school gave an indepth presentation on corals, coral bleaching and the local effects of bleaching around the island and some of the conservation projects. Chad has been one of the main drivers of conservation and artificial reef projects on the island and has a great deal of knowledge so it was great to have him here. He then talked about mooring lines, how they should look and gave a brief description on how to tie small floats to pick up lines. The diving teams were tasked with inspecting the existing lines and tying small yellow floats as these often “disappear”.
The diving team split into two groups, with the Crystal team going to Japanese Gardens and north Sairee and the others went on the GTA boat to Mango. At Mango we attached 6 yellow floats and recorded the condition of 6 mooring lines and collected rubbish from the sea floor. There was only enough collected to fill half a mesh bag, normally we fill several large rubbish sacks, most of the rubbish collected was from a fishing boat that sank just outside the bay. In December there will be a longer presentation on how to install and repair mooring lines.