This 5-day marine conservation programme is a fantastic way to learn all about coral reefs, animals and other organisms that live on the reef, and the unique roles these organisms fulfil in allowing the reef to thrive. This programme will also give you first hand experience in reef conservation through participation in some of our underwater research, monitoring and conservation projects.

This programme is designed to provide individuals with a good overall understanding of coral reef ecosystems and takes a detailed look into the ecology of corals as well as the many other types of organisms that are found living on coral reefs.

Students will learn why corals are so important for promoting reef biodiversity, and will gain experience in identifying different growth forms that corals adopt when growing. Students will also learn how to use a range of features and behaviours to identify important species of reef fish and invertebrates, understanding the ecological roles played by these organisms and their importance in maintaining balanced and healthy reefs all across the world.

Programme Structure

During the 5 days, students will have a series of morning presentations that introduce new topics surrounding reef ecology and conservation. Each afternoon consists of two dives. These dives will include practicing skills necessary for identification of key reef species and factors associated with reef health, conducting underwater surveys for monitoring purposes, data collection dives, and participation in reef restoration project dives.

Marine Conservation Project Koh Tao
Marine conservation programme

What the week looks like…

Day 1: Reef Systems - Spend the day learning about key fish families and species that help the reef thrive. Learn how to identify indicator species underwater using a range of features, as well as how those features and observed behaviours can reveal what their ecological role is. 
Day 2: Coral Anatomy and ID – Learn about corals, the importance of corals, how to identify corals underwater from the growth forms that different corals adopt. Investigate which survey methods are most appropriate for investigating coral diversity. Learn how to ID some of the incredible coral genera we have in the indo-pacific and investigate differences in diversity between dive sites.

Day 3: Coral Health and Disease – On this day you'll be learning how to diagnose some signs that coral colonies might be unhealthy. You'll go on two dives to survey the prevalence of different coral diseases and assess which coral colonies are most affected. 
Day 4: Coral Reef Restoration –  Use what you have learnt during previous days and participate in real monitoring, research, and conservation. You'll do two dives at the Roctopus Artificial Reef Project to learn how to maintain artificial reefs and transplant coral fragments from our very own DMCR Coral Restoration Instructor! (dependent on DMCR proposal)

Day 5: Marine Debris ID & Removal – On this day you'll take part in workshops on the sources and impacts of marine pollution, how we can combat the issue at source, and how we can remove debris from the marine environment safely. You'll conduct a debris survey dive, recording and removing debris at some of Koh Tao's more obscure dive sites.
Prerequisites: The Advanced Open Water Certificate (or equivalent), and 20 logged dives.
Price: 12,500 Baht (Includes 9 dives)
Contact our programme director to book your place on one of our programmes today! ecotrust@roctopusdive.com

Still have some questions? Our programme director would be more than happy to email or arrange a video call to chat through them!
Conservation projects on Koh Tao

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