Biorock comes to Koh Tao, New Dive Site Created
Towards the end of September 2008 I was visiting Koh Tao, when it was my greatest pleasure in meeting a man who has done so much for the worldwide preservation and restoration of the coral reefs and marine life in our oceans and seas, Dr. Thomas Goreau.
I was invited to one of his lectures by one of the local dive companies; Dr. Goreau was giving a talk at one of the bars in Mae Haad. When I turned up there was over 100 people already there, and more turning up every minute. Dr. Goreau gave a three hour talk on the life and death of coral worldwide and what is being done to preserve and restore the coral and oceans increasing marine life and also the effects on reefs and marine life from global warming. He also explained what is being done in Thailand and also around Koh Tao to preserve and reconstruct the coral reefs.
I have to say that he had everyone glued to their seats, including me, listening to every word he said, it has to be one of the most informative talks I have ever attended. He continued again the following night at the same location and all the same faces from the previous night where there, and a lot more new faces too.
The main reason for his visit to Koh Tao was to oversee the building of a new Dive site on the island using Biorock technology that he developed. I had visited the construction site earlier in the morning on the beach at the AC Resort, where they were constructing five Biorock structures of various sizes, from one meter to three meters high and a width from three meters to ten meters. These were all igloo shaped domes constructed of steel rods, bent and welded into shape. They all had an arched doorway entrance so divers could enter the structure and look at coral growing on the inside as well.
Two days after the domes where completed they were taken out to the new site in between Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan, the island to the north west of Koh Tao. They were then set down on the bottom of the sea and connected by cables to a low voltage transformer. This process increases coral growth of up to six times quicker than normal growth. Then live coral is attached to the structures and left to grow, so far the project is working well with people diving on the site on a daily basis to check on the growth of the new coral.
If you are coming to Koh Tao in the future and you want to do some diving, this will be one of the sites you will more than likely visit, even if you do not dive you can still visit the site and snorkel over the domes and see the new coral for yourselves.
If you want to see more about Biorock I have listed a few websites below.
Who is Dr Goreau??
Dr. Thomas Goreau is a principal of Biorock Inc., and President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and sustainable management of coral reefs, He completed his Ph.D., Bio-Geochemistry in 1981 at Harvard University, Master of Science, and Planetary Astronomy in 1972, at California Institute of Technology, and Bachelor of Science, Planetary Physics, in 1970, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
While teaching at universities in the United States and Brazil, he worked on the effects of Amazon deforestation on the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere, and was Senior Scientific Affairs Officer at the United Nations Centre for Science and Technology Development. He led efforts to protect coral reefs at the negotiations for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Conference on the Development of Small Island Developing States, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Dr. Goreau is a dedicated activist on environmental and global ecology issues. His research continues to focus on the effects of global warming and pollution on coral reefs and development of Biorock Technologies in the interest of coral preservation and coral reef restoration. He has written over 30 books and papers on many different subjects relating to marine life worldwide.
“Ah, sir, live in the bosom of the waters! There alone is independence. There I recognise no masters! There I am free.“ - (Jules Verne. 2000 Leagues under the Sea)
“The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish.” / “The sea, once it casts its spell, it holds one in its net of wonder forever.” - (Jacques Cousteau)