Are Christmas Tree Worms Bad for Corals?

If you have ever been diving or snorkeling in a coral reef you have probably seen and fell in love with the Christmas Tree Worms. Their bright colors and intricate anatomy make them a highly conspicuous feature on the reefs, which invites viewers in for a closer look. But what exactly are these animals, and what kind of role do they play regarding symbiosis on the coral reef?

Continue reading

Coral Spawning and Larval Culturing on Koh Tao

It was another successful year of coral spawning and larval culturing on Koh Tao, our 9th successful season since we started this project in 2010 with the Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai. This year was extraordinary for the number of corals that successfully released their gametes, with our team observing species from 9 different genera going over the 3 nights of observation in March. And, for the first time on Koh Tao, we also observed a species of soft coral (Sinularia) releasing their egg bundles. This miraculous event happens only a few times per year, and we are increasingly able to be there at the right time and place, and equipped with the knowledge and skills to help improve their reproductive success.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Underwater Weed(s) - Macroalgae of Koh Tao

Macroalgae have been painted with a broad brush as being inherently bad for the beautiful, vibrant, yet rapidly declining coral reef ecosystems across our planet. While the reputations that many of these underwater weeds have earned are well deserved and grounded in scientific understanding, the story is always more complex and nuanced than it first appears. Algae have taken quite the PR hit in recent decades, as tropical reefs, particularly those in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, have become overrun with these dense forests of brown, green and black marine plants. Not offering the same colourful beauty and habitat diversity of a thriving coral reef, it’s no wonder why they’ve come under such heavy fire from marine biologists and dive enthusiast. But there’s so much more to the story here.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

  • Phone

    New Heaven Dive School office 9am-7pm: +66 (0) 77 457 045

  • Email

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Address
    48 Moo 3 Chalok Baan Kao
    Koh Tao, Surat Thani
    84360, Thailand
Copyright 2016
New Heaven Reef Conservation Program