Marine Conservation Volunteer
Coral Reef Restoration | Koh Tao, Thailand

  • 8,500 Baht
  • 4 days
  • Prerequisite: PADI Advanced (or equivalent)
  • Learn about coral reef ecology
  • Join reef conservation lectures & workshops
  • Make object based dives performing coral reef restoration
  • Identify coral fragments & plant in coral nursery
  • Join our team and help make a difference!

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Join our marine conservation team for amazing four days and gain a deep understanding of coral reef conservation and restoration. Participate in lectures and workshops each morning and then join objective based dives each afternoon, making a real contribution to coral reef conservation in Thailand.

Background: Coral Reef Conservation

Coral reefs form an essential part of Earth’s aquatic environment; a spawning ground and habitat for countless marine species, protecting our coastlines from wave action and assisting in nutrient recycling.

Rising sea temperatures and ocean contaminants place our sensitive coral reefs under increasing stress. Even here in the Gulf of Thailand we’re beginning to witness change.

And the reefs off the tropical island of Koh Tao face an additional stress. Over the past 20 years Koh Tao has developed into a popular dive destination, with visitors keen to explore the amazing underwater world. This introduces an additional pressure on the reefs.
Local dive operators are aware of the risks and many reef conservation initiatives are already in place. Artificial reefs such as the HTMS Sattakut wreck and Buoyancy World provide additional dive sites. Meanwhile Bio-Rock projects and artificial substrates around the island give additional environments for corals to thrive.

At Simple Life Divers we’ve created a coral nursery. Broken coral fragments are collected from the seabed and planted in our nursery. Purpose built underwater structures which provide an ideal environment to nurse coral fragments back to health and promote growth. Once coral fragments reach sufficient size they are transplanted back to the reef.

Marine Conservation Volunteer Program

Join our marine conservation team for four days and you can get involved!

Guided by marine biologist Ciaran Egan (BSC Marine Biology, MSc International Marine Environment Consultancy) you can get join our reef restoration initiatives, gaining a deep understanding of coral reef conservation.

Each morning you’ll join interactive lectures and workshops giving you a grounding in coral reef ecology. Then during afternoons we’ll be diving, applying your newly learned knowledge and skills.

Over the four days you’ll cover fascinating theory:

  • Coral reef ecology, biodiversity and identification
  • Coral gardening and rescuing corals of opportunity
  • Coral nurseries
  • Potential of coral restoration

We’ll go into depth in each area giving you a solid understanding For example during the first theory session you’ll cover:

  • What is coral and why is it amazing?
  • Hard vs soft corals
  • Introducing the phylogenetic tree
  • Coral ID by growth form & 6 coral growth form types
  • Dead or alive?

You’ll also learn about the species living around coral reefs, ranging topics including:

  • External fish anatomy
  • 16 global key identification groups
  • Categorizing common species
  • Ecology of four examples of Koh Tao marine life; Whale shark, titan trigger, Green turtle, lionfish

Plus we’ll discuss coral reef restoration and coral nurseries:

  • Coral fragmentation
  • Corals of opportunity
  • Artificial reefs and transplantation
  • Harvesting coral planulae
  • Micro fragmentation and massive corals
  • Mineral accretion technology
  • What is a coral nursery
  • Managing fouling and pests

Lectures and workshops take place each morning giving you foundation knowledge.
Then each afternoon we’ll be in the water making objective based dives. You’ll get to take an active role in coral reef conservation and restoration. Activities will include:

  • Coral and fish identification
  • Collection of coral fragments of opportunity and planting in coral nursery
  • Cleaning coral fragments and removing pests
  • Nursery structure maintenance
  • Coral growth measurement (using photography and comparative software)
  • Transplanting fragments back to the reef

Come join our team on Koh Tao and help make a difference!

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