Overview

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: Coral Ecology – Learn about corals, the importance of corals, how to identify corals underwater and growth forms that different corals adopt. Finish the day by participating in a Coral Watch survey, submitting data on the health of corals around Koh Tao to the University of Queensland’s citizen science project

Day 2: Fish Ecology – 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 3: Invertebrates Ecology – Learn how invertebrates play one of the most important roles in creating reefs that are more biodiverse than any other environment on the planet. Learn how to identify different groups (phyla) of invertebrates, and use features to identify their role on the reef.
Day 4: Coral Reef Monitoring & Research – Use what you have learnt during previous days and participate in real monitoring, research, and conservation projects. Conduct underwater surveys as part of a fish monitoring program and Crown of Thorns research project, gathering essential data from Koh Tao’s reef organisms.

Day 5: Coral Restoration – Learn how to identify corals that are appropriate for restoration. Visit our coral restoration site and engage in active coral restoration, collecting coral ‘fragments of opportunity’ and transplanting them onto one of our coral nurseries or artificial reef substrates. Adopt your own coral fragment and receive ongoing updates and photographs as its grows into a new colony!

Price: 12,500 Baht (Includes 10 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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