For the last three weeks Bradley ‘Wil’ Webster has been getting heavily involved in the ‘Eco program at Eco Koh Tao and Crystal dive. After completing his Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver training Wil joined IDCS Nathan Cook for his Eco Training culminating in the Marine Resource Management Course (MRM) and a weeks Eco-Internship.
During the training we focus on the detailed ecology of reef environments, where most people visit and dive, and the problems they face in maintaining a pristine environment.
In addition to the theoretical nature of this course we have endeavored to provide potential resource managers with practical experience in some of the key tools available for managing restoration efforts – reef restoration techniques including coral nurseries, Biorock technology and artificial reefs as well as developing education and awareness campaigns.
As part of the practical application participants engage in some Biorock surveying, the development of coral nurseries as well as some detailed observatory dives. One of the first steps in any scientific understanding is observation! These were some of the best dives we did during the week. Wil were also given a thorough introduction to Project Aware’s Coralwatch coral health chart and undertook a few such surveys which were be uploaded directly onto Coralwatch’s website.
On an island like Koh Tao with the increasing pressure that it suffers from it is important to have well informed dive leaders and managers to help preserve the environment. The two things this course provides is a through understanding of the problems facing a location and some tools to develop informed solutions for their preservation
After the training was up Wil helped us continue our good work with his week long internship. During the internship we collected data on our coral nurseries in Mae Haad, transplanted some of the growing coral fragments onto the nearby artificial reef, and conducted a number of Reef Check surveys.
Wil heads off to KohPhangan to continue his Eco work for another three weeks. We wish him luck on his next adventure.
To learn more about our Eco Internships logon to www.ecokohtao.com/internship.html