After the Save Koh Tao group was formed it was possible to try again using more of a nursery technique, to let the clams grow up in a protected environment for the period of about 1 year and then moved out on to the natural reefs. This is done since generally the small clams are stressed upon arrival and have a low chance of survival if moved directly out to the reefs.
The first year this was done was in 2009. Around 1,000 clams where placed into ten cages in Ao Leuk Bay. This was our first time, and we encountered a few unforeseen problems. After the 1 year period about 429 calms were left, and they were transplanted around the area.
The second year (2010), the cages where moved to a new location with improved anti-tampering measures and did much better. In 2011 the clams survived very well and no major problems occurred. This year we received an additional 1,000 clams in April of 2012.
The NHRCP has been an integral part of this program since 2009, visiting the clams on a weekly basis to maintain and repair the nurseries, collect data on health and growth, and remove algae or fouling organisms from the sites. After the clams are moved out we continue to monitor and protect them, ensuring that survival rates are high.