Shark Myths Debunked

Sharks really are misunderstood!

Sharks are some of the most fantastic, magnificent and important creatures in our oceans. They have been vital to oceanic health for over 400 million years and have barely changed in the last 150 million due to their near perfect predator evolution. However, sharks are also some of the most misunderstood animals on our beautiful blue planet and have been feared and hunted because of this misconception. Shark populations have been decimated in the last 50 years due to this irrational fear, and the increasing demand for shark fin soup.

Whale shark in Koh Tao waters

Therefore in an attempt to re image the shark, here are 5 shark myths debunked and explained!

Sharks are dangerous and eat people.

This is a huge misconception as 97% of all sharks (500 species) actually pose NO threat to human beings. The other 3% neither hunt nor prey upon humans. There are only 5-10 shark related deaths a year, whereas falling coconuts kill 150 people, and cows kill 20 people annually in the US alone. Statistically, you’re 2,000 more likely to be killed by lightening than a shark. Additionally, 90% of shark attack victims survive their wounds showing that sharks only bite out of defense or curiosity, no with intent to kill.

shark-death-stats

Can sharks really smell a single drop of blood from miles away?

No. The shark olfactory sensory system is highly sensitive, especially to amino acids and plasmas associated with their prey. However if sharks were ‘over sensitive’ to these particles, this would cause an over stimulation affect that would confuse the shark. The oceans have so many different chemicals, partials and hormones floating through them that sharks wouldn’t be able to isolate and utilize any single smell. Imagine having incredibly acute hearing, and attempting to hold a conversation in a crowded area, the over stimulation would make it very difficult to listen or follow any single voice.

Sharks are immune to cancer and diseases, and can pass on this strength and immunity through ingestion of shark meat or specifically shark fin.

NO. This is a huge myth passed down through Chinese tradition, relying on the idea that shark power can be consumed. This ancient ideology has caused an explosion in the demand for shark fin soup, which causes the death of over 100 million sharks every year (12,000 an hour). However, shark fin has absolutely no nutritional value and no taste, the soup is instead flavoured by chicken/pork broth. In fact, the texture of the flavourless fin can be substituted unknowingly for stringy mushrooms meaning there is no need for the inhumane practice of shark fishing and finning. Furthermore, sharks are being found with more cancers and diseases than ever before due to increased ocean pollution and contamination.

Shark fin soup, a delicacy, apparently!

In the extremely unlikely event of a shark attack, should you punch it in the nose?

This is also a myth. Although the shark nose tip has sensitive electromagnetic and water pressure sensors, the effectiveness of a punch to this area would be greatly reduced by the density of water. An aimed punch would do very little and is merely sticking your fist closer to the sharks’ mouth. A preferred defensive method would be to attack the vulnerable eyes.

Do sharks need to constantly swim to breathe?

This statement is somewhat true. Sharks do indeed need a constant flow of water over their gills to diffuse oxygen into the blood stream and remove carbon dioxide. However, this can be accomplished in a few ways. Some sharks have evolved strong cheek muscles to push water to and through the gills allowing them to breathe whilst resting or stationary. Other sharks have developed intuitive behaviors to rest at areas of water movement allows them to breathe whilst also resting (aquarium sharks have adapted to sit by the water pumps). However, if a sharks fins are removed by finning, they cannot control their movement or breathing and so bleed to death or suffocate.

shark fins out to dry

Unfortunately, sharks are feared and hunted because of these myths and misconceptions, and their absence is having a serious impact on our oceans. You can help them by educating others and spreading awareness, as only together can we protect this fascinating species.

Help protect the shark!

Shark drowning due to having fins cut off

My very first Beach clean up as Master Divers ‘Eco Warrior’

112 kg’s collected in Koh Tao, Thailand

On Monday 4th September, Master Divers had a very successful beach clean-up, the first one to be organised by myself, Hayley Pearce, as part of my new eco role.

Beach Clean up in Koh Tao, Thailand

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, would I be the only one there, and along with donning a broken arm, I wouldn’t have got very far!

I needn’t have been so worried. I was lucky to have, Master Divers Course Director Gaz, with his three new Instructor Development Course (IDC) students Kevin, Henry and Kaarin. Our Underwater Photographer, Rob Kelly, lay down the camera for the morning, along with Instructors and PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainers, Josh, Thomas and Graham, freelance Instructor, Dan, our Divemaster Katie, our four Divemaster Candidates, Charlotte, Rob, Mantie and Sam, and a couple of very generous ladies that had seen our sign near the coconut monkey and decided to join. Sorry for anyone missed off the photo!

112kgs of rubbish and recyclable's collected by Master Divers in Koh Tao, Thailand

If you’ve been on Koh Tao, recently, you’ll know how hot it’s been and this morning was no exception. It was great that so many people came to give their own time so that we can give a little back to Koh Tao, especially for those that were teaching or taking courses straight after- it got pretty sweaty towards the end!

Everyone did an awesome job and we managed to collect 112 kg of rubbish and recycling from the beach at Mae Haad, and from the road outside Master Divers. This is a huge amount! I’m so grateful to everyone that was involved, it’s never a pleasant task picking up other people’s litter, but we had fun as we did it and it’s safe to say we were all proud of our achievement.

Thanks again fellow Eco-Warriors. You guys rock!

Introducing Me! Master Divers New Eco Warrior!

This week I have started the process of taking over from Josh Stephenson as Master Divers resident eco warrior, a tough act to follow! I’ll be taking over organising beach and dive site clean ups, running eco presentations, quizzes and movie nights, and getting involved in island and international eco projects. I know my parents will be proud and will remember me as a precocious teenager declaring that if their new car didn’t have a catalytic converter, I wouldn’t get in it! They told me then that I couldn’t save the world and this is my chance to prove them wrong!

Hayley becoming the Eco Warrior she is today

From those well intended beginnings I have gone on to travel and scuba dive around the world. I have seen how stunning our oceans and the aquatic life within them are, and I want to keep it that way. I’m hoping that during my time in this role I can educate other divers on what is happening to our environment as well as inspiring non-divers to think differently about conservation and what can be done. We’re all in it together!

Scuba Diving Instructor, Hayley with elephants

I first dived with Master Divers in Koh Tao, Thailand  in 2013 and knew that I would one day come back. I’m really lucky to have done my pro training here and land a dream job! We will miss Mr Koh Tao, he has set such a fantastic example in this role and has made the job much easier for me, but there’s a new eco-queen in town now; long may I reign!!

Hayley Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand

Cut out plastics by using a glass cutter!

We have a brand new gadget here at Master Divers that will hopefully ‘cut’ our plastic usage over time. It’s a glass cutter! This gizmo allows us to safely cut glass bottles into glass cups, therefore reducing the amount of cups we may buy to use at our water refill station.

Allowing us to safely cut glass bottles into glass cups.

Our New Gadget!

Recycling is good, but currently of 14% of plastics received for recycling, only 5% is actually made into a new object, the rest is lost as a by-product. This is technically down-cycling as the usable material is reduced, and will often lose the valuable properties of the original plastic. Recycling is better than wasting, but it is not a perfect system yet and technologies require greater development to recycle higher proportions of materials. Instead, by reusing current materials and objects, by re-purposing them or reusing them 100%, we can truly reduce our waste and reduce our requirements for new materials.

Our glass cutter gadget put into action

How to use

So, how does it work?

First of all, you place your chosen glass bottle into the glass cutter and tighten the screws to grip the glass. This can be done on any round glass, however thicker glass may be harder to separate at a later stage. Once secure, you can adjust the black levers to add a little extra pressure to the bottle, and to lower the glass cutting needle into place against the bottle.

Now the needle is against the glass, slowly rotate the glass bottle within the glass cutter so that a thin line is scored all the way around the bottle. This takes a bit of practice to make sure the cut is accurate and lines up in a perfect circle. Be careful to do this with glasses and gloves over a safe area, as the bottle may crack or shatter at an undetermined weak point.

Now that we have our line, we need to repeatedly heat and cool the bottle by rinsing/soaking it in boiling water and ice water alternatively. This expands and constricts the glass, making it prone to shatter. Fortunately after several bathes, the bottle should shatter neatly around the score mark that previously weakened the glass making it fragile along the line.

This is the first step to seeing the final product

Step 1

With a bit of practice, the bottle separates into a usable cup and additional funnel. Use a bit of sandpaper to smoothen the edges and… you have a new, reused and reusable glass cup!

Carefully lift the top off the bottle

Step 2

A cup you can safely drink from

The finished product

Small initiatives like this can help reduce plastic production whilst educating others on the global plastic problem. Cheers!

World Oceans Day 2017

June 8th 2017 was a day of annual oceanic celebration… it was WORLD OCEANS DAY! This is an international day to appreciate and care for our beautiful blue planet and help educate others and spread awareness of how vital our oceans truly are.

Prep Talk on the Master Divers Boat

Here at Master Divers, we need little excuse to arrange Marine Conservation Events, and so World Oceans Day was scheduled for a great day of conservation clean ups, ocean education and ‘fin’tastic fun! We began our day bright and early at 6.45 am for the morning boat that took our group of Eco Warriors around to Laem Thien, our Adopted Dive Site. Here we coordinated a beach clean up at the abandoned resort where ocean debris and trash is often brought in by eastern winds collecting a huge 55 KG in only an hour!! Leaving the beach clean and clear, we then continued to clean up the surrounding area underwater with a Dive Against Debris.

Beach and Ocean Clean

The afternoon commenced with our oceanic take on traditional Olympic games, which we renamed a Fin-lympics! The rules were explained as buddy teams joined to compete with much laughter and hilarity.

Olympic Games but with Fins!

Some of our favourites were: the coconut shot put, the egg and spoon fin relay, the swim float paddle relay, a fin tug of war, and finally a double points relay combining all previous games!! It didn’t matter who won (… I did ;)), but that everyone enjoyed taking part, even if a few blisters were caused by sandy fins.

Boarding Relay Race

After a well-deserved break and dinner, the team regrouped for an Eco Pub Quiz in the Coconut Monkey. Re-establishing teams, and reigniting a competitive edge, our Eco Warriors battles through 5 rounds of informative Eco Questions to see who knew most about our ocean planet and its inhabitants.

The Big Fin Olympics Finish

Not only was June 8th special as World Oceans Day, but it was also our wonderful Divemaster Brians Birthday!! Therefore the day and quiz ended with a special Birthday Boy Brian Bonus Round followed by further celebrations in Sairee.

Thank you to everyone who came and made World Oceans Day such a fun success and such a day to remember! J

Shark Guardian Diver Day

 

Master Divers is a registered Shark Guardian Diver Centre, 1 of only 3 on Koh Tao! Shark Guardian is a conservation charity actively involved in shark conservation, research and education. They host educational presentations around the world and introduce sharks to over 200,000 people annually.

SG Logo

As a Shark Guardian dive centre we are passionate about protecting our finned friends and support Shark Guardian projects with daily shark surveys on eShark to study population sizes and distribution. In addition, we are proud to announce that we are the FIRST dive centre on Koh Tao to pioneer the new Shark Guardian Diver Programme!

The Shark Guardian Diver Programme is an engaging and educational course that introduces participants to shark evolution, anatomy, behaviour, and the modern dangers sharks face in the oceans such as fishing and finning. We recently organised a day event to raise money for Shark Guardian, however the course can also be added onto any of our scuba courses and provides a great insight into shark lives.

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Our recent event took 25 international Dutch students to Shark Bay and Aow Leuk for shark surveys and snorkelling and we were lucky enough to see LOADS of different sharks. Pregnant females often stay in the safe and shallow bays for protection, and so after a while waiting on the surface, several adults approached followed by their new pups! This data was recorded and sent to Shark Guardian via eShark for future research on population sizes and distribution.

After an exciting and busy morning, we then took the boat back out with a younger group of Shark Guardians to complete a ‘Swim for Sharks’ around our local dive site 3 Rocks. All who joined completed the swim around all 3 rocks and were rewarded by a beautiful sea turtle sighting near the surface!

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The day came to an end with an inspirational and educational presentation by Shark Guardian co-founder Liz full of great videos, fascinating facts, and sobering statistics about the threats to sharks in our oceans. All who attended left with eyes wide open to the wonder, beauty, and importance of sharks and with a new found realization to the threats they are now facing.

Keep up to date with our Shark Guardian events via social media! Will you be a Shark Guardian of the future?

Earth Day 2017

 

A year ago, Master Divers helped coordinate the hugely popular and wonderfully successful Koh Tao Earth Day 2016. This event invited our beautiful island community together to participate in a day of land and underwater clean ups for the benefit of our environment. So this year, alongside the collective support of our local government and island residents… we decided to do it all over again!!

Earth Day falls on the 22nd of April. It is a day to focus on the beautiful blue planet we live on alongside all other species who inhabit it. So much fantastic life relies on the environment and fragile eco-systems to survive; however, unfortunately, our planet and our environment is changing and is evident of deteriorating due to human actions.

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Our oceans have less fish than ever before. The climate is changing. Ocean temperatures are rising alongside ocean sea levels. New technologies such as fracking and drilling techniques are damaging the environment in unprecedented ways with unpredictable outcomes. More and more habitats are being destroyed for land and/or resources, causing more animals to become endangered and extinct. The health of our planet Earth is indisputably in decline.

Fortunately, there are some great organisations and great initiatives combatting the destruction of our environment, and many more countries and governments introducing environmentally friendly laws and regulations than ever before. Everyone can make a difference, and that is exactly what we aimed to do for the second year running! Earth Day 2017 was our event as a community to get together and help protect and preserve our island home, whilst simultaneously raising awareness and educating other island travellers on environmental issues. Now whilst there are many ways to help our environment, we decided to focus on plastic (more specifically Single-Use Plastics) as they have an immediate and everlasting negative effect on our environment and oceans.

PlasticSea

Plastic never goes away. It is possible that every piece of plastic EVER produced is still on our planet in some form. Plastic production has increased 20 fold in the last 50 years and production continues to increase. 50% of all plastic production is merely single-use plastic such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic straws; designed and used for a short term convenience before being discarded (did you know 100 billion plastic bags are made every year? That’s 1 million every minute!). The majority of this plastic is sent as waste to landfill where it will stay and pollute the earth forever. However, a huge amount is discarded into our environment and oceans. Over 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year; there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans; and plastic will soon outweigh fish by 2050. This is a huge problem!

This year, we arranged an island wide land based clean up with over 250 volunteers where we removed 1,600 KG of trash and waste from the island, half of which was made from potentially recyclable materials. We then sent our 17 different boats to all our local dive sites who removed a further 500 KG from the ocean. This data was sent to Project AWARE for research and statistics on ocean trash. All participants and our island community along with government representatives all celebrated the days achievement with a huge party at The Hacienda with food stalls, game stalls, drinks and a generously donated raffle.

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This year, the money raised is being put towards starting an island recycling centre to reduce the amount of waste we produce and to further responsibly manage the plastic, glass, and metal waste here on Koh Tao. We are encouraging dive centres on the island and other businesses to commit to reducing their single-waste plastics by becoming plastic free themselves. We hope this will spark a change of attitude on Koh Tao which alongside the support of the local government will allow us to ban certain single-use plastics in the future.

If you have not yet signed our petition to ban single-use plastic bags and reduce plastics on the island, please do so here!!

 

 

Delhi’s Disposable Plastics Ban

Plastic bottles

Good news for Earth!

India has started the New Year in a positive, environmental direction by banning all disposable plastics in its capital city Delhi. This ban was proposed and passed in December 2016, but only came into effect on Jan 1st 2017. The government and authorities allowed a transition period giving businesses and residents time to adapt and prepare for the change, but now the plastics ban is being implemented city wide with fines from $150 – $7,000 for plastic usage or improper disposal.

This city wide ban on plastic cutlery, bags, cups, and all forms of single-use disposable plastics was advocated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to combat the amount of plastic pollution in India, and the global environment. Plastic does not biodegrade, and it is possible that every piece of plastic ever made is still somewhere on our planet today. 500 billion plastic bags are made and used every year, mostly at convenience for around 20 minutes before they are disposed of improperly; that’s 1 million plastic bags produced every minute. Disposable plastics are a global issue that is seriously effecting our environment.

waste plastic

8.8 million tons of plastic are known to enter our oceans every year, and some estimates reach 12 million tons. Ocean plastics kill marine life through ingestion or entanglement and have been found in 31 marine mammal species and are known to kill 100,000 marine creatures every year through entanglement alone. Ingestion creates a bio-accumulation of harmful chemicals that increase up the food chain poisoning all creatures in the ocean; including humans who eat poisoned sea food.

Delhi’s ban is a shining example of a government’s true commitment to the protection of the environment. India is also focusing on increasing their renewable energy production and plans to be 60% renewable energy efficient by 2025. Other major cities, and even countries, have also been implementing bans on disposable plastics. Queensland, Australia; San Francisco, USA; and France have all committed to ban disposable plastics in one form or another with realistic plans and goals for a more sustainable future.

Now although banning plastic production and distribution is a great step towards a cleaner and safer environment, it’s not perfect solution and many cities and countries are finding it hard to enforce. Fresh food stalls are concerned that business will be affected if they cannot offer customers plastic bags. Fast food vendors are concerned how their customers will hold or eat their food without plastic crockery and cutlery. Many find it difficult to see past the social norms of disposable plastics that have developed in India, and widespread South East Asia, however there are many alternatives available.

garbage

 Biodegradable plastics are currently being produced from natural products that will break down in waste bins and landfills, reducing overall waste. Edible plastics are also being produced which are safe for humans or animals to ingest and digest. Of course the best way to reduce plastic production is to reduce the single use product mentality and begin to reuse sustainable products like metal cutlery, china plates, and glass bottles.

Even if banning plastics isn’t as simple to implement and enforce as we would like it to be, Delhi’s ban is a hugely significant move in the right direction and stands as a towering example to other governments on responsible environmental protection. We hope that many other cities, countries and cultures will follow in their footsteps.

The Artificial Reefs of Koh Tao

Artificial Reefs are becoming more and more popular as divers worldwide become more environmentally aware. Artificial dive sites provide homes/shelter/safety for a variety of marine life, and also alleviate the pressure from regular dive sites, which is especially important in heavily dived areas. Koh Tao has been developing and promoting artificial dive sites for a number of years, and Master Divers has been actively involved in assisting with the construction and maintenance of some of these too. Our favourites on Koh Tao are:

Junkyard

As the name suggests, Junkyard is an artificial reef made out of, well… junk! Not your regular sort of everyday trash, but lots of larger, bulkier items that would otherwise be difficult/expensive/environmentally unsound just to throw in landfill and forget about! There’s a pickup truck, a Sydney Harbour Bridge, a mini gym, a windmill, a pyramid, several cage structures on which transplanted coral grows, long metal archway tunnels – great for practicing swim-through buoyancy techniques, and even a sculpture made out of old toilets – which as you can imagine has been the backdrop to many an ingenious photo moment!

A Diver Swims Beneath the 'Coconut Monkey Tree'
A Diver Swims Beneath the ‘Coconut Monkey Tree’

 

In and among all of these man-made monuments you’ll often find juvenile Longfin Bat Fish, Puffer Fish and Box Fish of pretty much every shape, size and species, a few varieties of File Fish (most of which cannot be found at any other dive site around the island), Saddleback Anemone Fish, and often some Crabs & Shrimp too. Night dives to Junkyard are also pretty impressive. Giant Hermit Crabs wander to and fro and Blue Spotted Sting Rays also come out to hunt along the sandy bottom. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some Pleurobrach, a type of marine slug. Nothing unusual there you may think, especially if you’re well versed in your Nudibranchs. Pleorobranchs, however, are much bigger – normally dwarfing their Nudibranch counterparts by a ratio of over 100-1!

Juvenile Batfish
Juvenile Bat Fish

 

Bio Rock

BioRock was where it all started in terms of artificial reefs on Koh Tao. A collaboration between marine biology students from mainland universities, a number of dives schools worked together to sink Koh Tao’s first official artificial. Bio Rock – or Hin Fai, as it is also known – is a large dome structure with smaller satellite dome structures and boulders surrounding it. The domes are used as a base structure on which to attach transplanted corals. The special and unique feature however, is that the dive site is fed by an electrical current from the land in the form of cables, which encourage and hasten coral growth – the idea being that corals grown here can be transplanted to other dive sites on the island where the health of the reef has declined.

In his 2012 paper focusing on Coral Reef Rehabilitation, Gerianne Terlouw noted “We find that corals on the Biorock structure grow up to 80% faster than corals in other reef areas when conditions are optimal.”

 

BioRock_Koh Tao_Ayesha_Cantrell_003
Corals Growing on the Dome Structures

 

HTMS Sattakut

As artificial reefs go, shipwrecks are one of the most popular, and we are lucky to have the HTMS Sattakut on our doorstep. This 49metre long naval war ship sits in 20-30metre depth region, so is perfect for fun divers (if qualified to dive below 18metres of course!), wreck adventure dives and wreck and deep specialties alike. Sitting upright on her flat bottom with impressive cannon style guns at the front and rear, a circular conning tower, and numerous port holes to peer through, she’s an easy wreck to explore. Over the years we’ve documented this wreck in our blog a few times. You can read more about her and research more links, from our post on the sinking of the Sattikut here.

Peeking Through a Porthole
Peeking Through a Porthole

 

Around the wreck you’ll likely spot large Groupers, Andaman Sweetlips, and schools of Rabbit Fish as well as Big Eye and sometimes even Giant Trevally. Schools of juvenile fish such as Yellow Tail Barracuda often inhabit some of the rooms inside the wreck, and use their artificial home as protection against larger predators. In crevices hiding under the wreck you can often see Jenkins Whip Rays too.

Giant Grouper

 

Buoyancy World

Not quite Disney World, but for inquisitive divers who enjoy seeing something a bit different on their dives, Buoyancy World definitely provides a fun factor. Located next to Twins, and easily navigable within a dive at Twins itself, Buoyancy World comprises of a number of structures designed to aid with buoyancy training. Because of this it is regularly visited on PADI Advanced Open Water training dives and PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty courses. Another collaboration between a few Koh Tao dive centres, it has hoops and squares, a mini maze, concrete rings and even an octopus to help hone your buoyancy, trim and swim-through techniques. It also has some additional structures such as a shark, turtle, some phone box-like structures and a host of concrete blocks that attract marine life and curious divers alike.

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Buoyancy_World_Koh Tao_Ayesha_Cantrell_001

 

This list is by no means extensive, and several other dive sites now have artificial sections too. You’ll find an extensive concrete block site at Hin Ngam, ‘Utopia’ structures at Tao Tong, reef balls (and even a couple of motorbikes) at Tanote Bay, and many more besides. Interested in diving some artificial sites? Let us know and we’ll be only too happy to schedule some for you!

How to be an Eco Traveller on Koh Tao and elsewhere

 

Koh Tao

With all the excitement of travelling and endless adventures ahead of you, reducing your carbon footprint may be the last thing on your mind, but for the avid traveller it should be something to consider. Not just to reduce your own impact, but to ensure that the travellers of tomorrow can enjoy the same beauties you experienced.

With short haul flights becoming easier and cheaper to come by, more and more people are opting to travel by air. While it may be the quicker way to travel, it’s definitely the harshest from an environmental perspective. And let’s be honest, there are way more interesting ways to get around!



Train travel

Koh Tao is a very small island at only 21km squared; most places are accessible by either walking, scooter, taxi or longtail boat. If you haven’t used a scooter before, Koh Tao is not the place to start. The roads can be dangerous due to bad weather and other road users. If you don’t feel comfortable riding a bike, pick-up taxis are widely available to and from most areas around the island. It’s also a lot more eco-friendly as you can share your taxi with a few people – which also makes the journey cheaper!

When looking for a dive school on the island, it is important to look at their mission statement to see how they present themselves in the diving world. The key things to look for are whether or not they have a good understanding of the dive industries impact on the ocean, and whether they actively do anything to help reduce that impact. The easiest way to check this is via their website and social media pages to see if they do regular land and sea clean ups, or run any conservation projects.

Finally there are simple steps you can take to reduce your impact on the island and the wider environment:

  • Refuse plastic bags when shopping.
  • Clearly state no straws.

Plastic straws

  • Try to use reusable containers if ordering takeaway food, they are easy to come by and are available in all the supermarkets on the island for about 25 Thb, if you don’t want to travel with it, hand it into one of the dive schools or one of the street stalls, they will gladly use them.
  • Koh Tao is very low on fresh water so whilst you’re here think about the amount of water you are using on a day to day basis, even if it something as little as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, it can make a difference.
  • Cigarettes! If you are a smoker please don’t throw your cigarette ends on the floor or in the sea, it doesn’t look very nice and the fish around the island gave up smoking a long time ago!
  • If and when you do go diving or snorkelling around the island, be aware of your buoyancy and where you place your fins so that you don’t damage the local reefs as they are home to a lot of marine life.
  • Avoid applying sunscreen within an hour of entering the water for diving or snorkelling. Sunscreen contains harmful chemicals that instantly wash off into the ocean destroying fragile coral and marine life.

Plastic in the ocean

If everyone travelling followed these simple steps we would be well on our way to helping preserve the environment for future generations of travellers, so think ahead and try to leave every destination as beautiful as you found it.