What is the benefit of artificial reefs and do they add to or detract from the natural environment in areas where coral reefs develop? These are the questions an inquisitive 10 year old asked some 3-4 years ago that prompted the current research and subsequent campaign.
Kailash Cook, with his dad Nathan, are looking at the coral reef environment to try and answer these questions and have been raising money to support their drive.
The campaign fundraising is partially complete and in the coming 9 months Nathan and Kailash are embarking on a journey to Thailand and Hawaii, researching the benefit of artificial reefs to small coral reef environments like Koh Tao.
This research began in 2013 so it has been going a while. If all goes to plan, they will present their findings to the International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii next year.
Recently, Kailash held a crowdfunding campaign to raise the required funds to complete the research he has been passionate about for the past few years . We raised enough to cover the first lot of expenses and have currently booked to travel to Thailand in January.
As part of Koh Tao’s conservation activities a number of artificial reefs have been built and deployed to reduce the pressure of excessive numbers of divers on the natural reefs. The research will look at whether artificial reefs attract a similar level of biodiversity to that of the nearby natural reefs.
We’ll also be looking at the social science aspect of artificial reefs and try to gauge what the visitor experience is like, and whether artificial reefs are socially acceptable to residents, visitors and other invested stakeholders.
The Indiegogo campaign finished in September and raised $2,575 but funds are still welcome to support the rest of the campaign.
These funds will support a research trip to Koh Tao to complete the study before assisting with expenses to Hawaii in 2016.
While in Koh Tao we’ll also be doing other research establishing ideal sizes of giant clams to stop being eaten by predators and maybe some stuff on beach debris. It is an exciting few months ahead as we build momentum to Hawaii next year.
During our research Nathan and Kailash will be working with Eco Koh Tao for much of the research. Logistics will be supported by Crystal Dive.
If you would like to support the campaign, contact Kailash directly on [email protected].
Below are a number of links to support and follow Kailash’s journey.
Author: Crystal Dive