About Us

Meet the Roctopus eco Trust Team… The Roctopus ecoTrust is a marine ecology and conservation programme that is based on the island of Koh Tao, situated in the Gulf of Thailand.

The Roctopus ecoTrust is a marine ecology and conservation programme that is based on the island of Koh Tao, situated in the Gulf of Thailand. This programme provides divers and ocean enthusiasts with an in-depth education on coral reef ecosystems, and offers a platform for individuals to directly engage in underwater research and reef conservation efforts.

The Roctopus ecoTrust has established several monitoring, research and active conservation projects around the island. Data gathered from these projects allows us to continuously assess the health of surrounding reefs, and provides essential information on trends that may develop in the health status and biodiversity of local reefs.
Data collected from these projects also helps to identify areas that may be exposed to environmental stress and/or specific human impacts, and provides a valuable insight into threats that the reefs of Koh Tao may face. The Roctopus ecoTrust aims to develop scientifically proven, effective, and sustainable methods to protect and conserve the reefs of Koh Tao, allowing these vital ecosystems to thrive in the future.

The Roctopus ecoTrust also works with several other organisations, collecting and submitting data to a number of large global databases. This helps to provide essential information on the health status of reefs across the world, as well as the threats that these ecosystems face on a global scale.
Koh Tao Marine Conservation Programme

Piers Baillie

Piers Baillie Programme Director

Meet the program director…

Piers is a qualified scuba diving instructor and marine biologist holding a BSc Marine Biology degree (first class honours) from the University of Plymouth (UK).
During his time in Plymouth, he conducted research on animal behaviours including contests and decision making in marine invertebrates. Since taking the reins at the Roctopus ecoTrust, Piers has established several research, monitoring and conservation projects to protect the valuable ecosystems of Koh Tao.
He has also created a marine ecology and conservation programme which is being taught to increasing numbers of students from all over the world. During his time with the ecoTrust, Piers has established a key partnership with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, as well as several other international NGOs. Piers is currently in the process of publishing a textbook titled, ‘Introduction to Coral Reef Ecology’.
During his free time, he is an avid enthusiast for underwater wildlife photography, and has developed a marine ecology blog here. He also has a passion for exploration and adventure. Piers is happy to organise a call/email, to discuss the variety of programmes/projects further.
To see more of Piers' photos click here

Our Mission

EDUCATE

To educate individuals on the ecology of reef ecosystems and the threats they face to provide knowledge, understanding and the necessary skills to enable individuals to engage in the monitoring, management and conservation of coral reefs.

RESEARCH

To conduct research to develop our ecological understanding of reef species in order to better understand their importance within a reef ecosystem, potential threats they may face, and ways they can be monitored and protected.

MONITOR

To collect data on the health and biodiversity of local reefs in order to channel effective marine conservation where required, as well as inform authorities and scientific communities in order to promote change.

PROTECT

To initiate and monitor marine conservation projects with a view to protecting, rehabilitating and restoring a healthy marine ecosystem around Koh Tao.

Why Koh Tao?

Lying in the crystal clear, tropical waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao’s abundant and diverse coral reefs provide a vast selection of model organisms to conduct essential research on reef ecosystems. Information gained helps to develop our ecological understanding of coral reefs, monitor and assess the health status of these fragile ecosystems, and helps channel effective conservation efforts to protect these reefs and others around the world.

With over 25 dive sites surrounding this tropical island, which comprise a variety of reef types from shallow walls carpeted with corals to deep submerged pinnacles home to dense schools and large predators, Koh Tao has access to many different scenarios of marine ecosystems.
These enable the investigation of a diverse range of topics associated with marine ecology and conservation. In addition to the diversity in ecosystems, calm conditions with minimal currents, and visibility often reaching over 30m allow divers to become intimate with marine organisms. The ability to get close with minimal disturbance is a huge benefit when trying to identify specific features and for conducting research.
Roctopus Dive Koh Tao
Koh Tao Sunset
Koh Tao is a hotspot for many travellers, and an island that is often considered to be a dive mecca of the world, attracting a large volume of divers. Although diving provides insight into the marine world, a high concentration of divers may have a variety of negative impacts on corals and other marine organisms.
Furthermore, as a result of the growing industry, continuous development of the island poses other potential threats to the reef such as pollution, run-off, and sedimentation. The impact of divers, tourism and increased anthropogenic activity surrounding coral reefs must be fully understood to help protect the reef and prevent irreversible damage from occurring.
Coral reefs cover just 1% of the ocean floor, yet are home to over 25% of all marine species. Conducting underwater research around the island is essential to understand both the global and local threats that may be affecting reef organisms. This research is crucial to help minimise and manage local threats to Koh Tao’s reefs, as well as to enable solutions to global threats to be shared in other parts of the world.








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Photography copyright Baillie Photos. All rights Reserved
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