World Oceans Day on Koh Tao

It’s the wonderful time of the year - World Oceans Day is coming up of course! Join us on June the 8th as we celebrate the most expansive and yet overlooked ecosystems on our planet for a day dedicated to giving back to our planet’s oceans that give so much to us. Come down to the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program and dive in with us, as we explore.

 “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” ~ Sylvia Earle

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Another New Species of Sea Slug, Discovered Here on Koh Tao

KORSHUNOVA et al. 2019There is a small and beautifully ornate sea slug that has mesmerized divers on Koh Tao for years, which turned out to be unknown to science. However, our familiar little sea slug has been described in a recent paper by our team, and is now known as Unidentia aliciae. This is an important update to the world of nudibranch taxonomy, as the family Unidentiidae is still in dispute, and this new species helps to solidify the family and genus amongst debating scientists. Furthermore, it is another example of the amazing diversity of sea slugs found on the coral reefs around our island, currently estimated to have over 150 species.

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Volunteering in Thailand – Does it Help?

Volunteering during your holidays, also called voluntourism, is a great way to get involved and give something back to the places you visit. It is a way to get immersed in the culture, learn new skills, make new friends, and get more to remember out of your holiday then just going to drunken parties on the beach. In a quick internet search, you can find all kinds of amazing opportunities to help or volunteer here in Thailand, from teaching English at impoverished schools, helping an orphanage, taking care of rescued elephants, joining a marine or land conservation program, organic farming, and much more. But how much do these activities really help, and is there the possibility that it could have a negative impact on the local communities?

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Assessing Marine Plastic Pollution at the Tourism Hotspot of Koh Tao, Thailand

In December 2018, NHRCP intern and director of the organisation Save the Plastic presented the findings of her pilot study on the abundance of plastics in a given area of Koh Tao. Her poster was displayed and discussed at the First International Conference on Plastics in the Marine Environment 2018 in Singapore, where leading academics and conservationists gathered to continue to bring light on the issues at hand.

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A Polychaete is Not Just for Christmas

Christmas tree worms, otherwise known as Spirobranchus giganteus or Spirobranchus corniculatus (‘Spiro’ as in spiral, and ‘branchus’ as in lung) are species of polychaete worms that build a tube and are easily recognized by the spiral structures that rise above the corals they live inside. These structures are used for both respiration and feeding by the worms.As filter feeders, these worms use the feather like tentacles, also called radioles, to direct prey items toward and into the mouth. adioles can also be seen on other polychaete species such as feather duster worms.

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    Koh Tao, Surat Thani
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New Heaven Reef Conservation Program