One of the easiest, yet very important, ways to proect the sea is through clean ups to remove nets and other marine debris. Marine debris is not only unsightly, but kills countless sea creatures and birds each year. In fact, most of the sea turtles found dead in our region have been found to have ingested some sort of rope, plastic, or other synthetic products. It is for these reasons that we not only clean-up all rubbish we encounter while diving, but also dedicate time each week to clean-up dives.
Despite the countless tourists and divers that visit our little island, Koh Tao actually has some of the cleanest reefs in Thailand, and yet even still sometimes we are able to collect tons of rubbish in a single day. It is often times the littlest actions that can have the largest impacts over time, which is why we try to engage in beach and reef clean ups as whenever we have a chance. Last year we commited to doing a clean-up everyday for a month, in recognition of the Project AWARE Debris month of Action and the trend has continued into this year, as many of our amazing conservationists have taken it upon themselves to keep our island clean and green.
Clean-up dives are a great way to spend the day doing something which has immediate benefits to the ecosystem. It is something that everybody can take part in, and requires no specialized training. Clean-ups are also one of the best ways to start getting children or young divers involved in conservation activities that will nurture positive environmental ethics that last a lifetime.
Cleaning the reefs has many benefits, but it would be much better if this waste never ended up in the sea in the first place. To try and tackle the ever mounting problem of pollution on Koh Tao, you have to target the problem at its source. That is why we have also banned plastic bags and foam boxes from our dive school. And are working together with Project AWARE and other Koh Tao dive schools on a Waste Management Master Plan.