During a recent research trip to Koh Tao Kailash joined his dad, Nathan as a presenter on an episode of the ABC America program Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin.
The episode featured Nathan and Kailash’s work on Koh Tao. For the last 8 years Nathan and Kailash have been working with Crystal Dive and Eco Koh Tao to build artificial reefs and restore and preserve the reefs around Koh Tao.
Jeff Corwin’s Ocean Mysteries team contacted Eco Koh Tao having received a tip-off from Project Aware international that Crystal Dive had this awesome conservation team doing great work in the Gulf of Thailand. After a few conversations they decided to showcase the fantastic rehabilitation work with both giant clams and coral nurseries on the artificial reefs of Koh Tao.
The film crew teamed up with Crystal Dive and spent a day filming Jeff, Nathan and Kailash Cook at a local dive site, transplanting coral fragments onto artificial reefs and doing the same with some giant clams.
Kailash has recently been raising money to return from his home in Australia to complete some research and present his findings at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii in 2015. 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. He’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 being accepted by residents and visitors alike.
This Sunday evening (EST), Kailash and Nathan will feature on Ocean Mysteries on the ABC Network. The proposed screening date is October 10th so if you are stateside please look out for it. For everyone else, I hope we’ll get a copy of it online in the not too distant future.
The Indiegogo fundraising campaign finished in September and raised $2575 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.
Thanks to everyone who has supported the journey so far.
Author: Nathan Cook (Eco Koh Tao)