Project Koh Sak

Concept

Koh Sak is a globally unique island. It is two hours from Bangkok and only 20 minutes by speedboat from Pattaya making it an ideal location for the peace and quiet that many people expect when they go to a tropical island. It is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and boasts cement casts of the handprints, footprints and signatures of past visitors including their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Thailand; the Apollo 11 crew (three months after returning from the Moon) and many other dignitaries and entertainers.

However, mass tourism is reducing the quality of experience and causing a rapid decline in island quality and coral reef integrity and health as more and more speedboats bring tourists who unwittingly contribute to the decline. MUIC’s Reef Ecology Group (REG) has been documenting changes in the reef caused by tourism. Activities carried out in and on the reef are reducing reef resilience in the face of global climate change and if things do not change and tourism is unchallenged the reef will disappear as key ecological processes are disrupted by the “way things are done”.

Aim

To reverse declines in reef and island quality and deliver an experience unrivalled anywhere else in Thailand as we substitute an extractive and exploitative experience with one that is educational, enhances island and coral reef quality and offers the opportunity for peace and quiet in this frenetic world.

Love Wildlife’s Educational Tours to Koh Sak, designed by REG, aim to raise awareness of coral reef issues and threats at the same time as improving knowledge and understanding of coral reef biology and ecology. Visitors can learn how to carry out coral, fish and invertebrate surveys to assess coral reef health and will be given the opportunity to help build artificial reefs in on-going reef-restoration projects. Tours are designed to complement visitor’s level of interest, experience and expertise.

Activities

Our guests spending time on the ferry on the way from Pattaya Pier to Koh Sak, with our instructor giving brief instruction about the tour
And then we landed! We started by walking around the bay to see how the island is like in the morning. As well, a little tour along the pathway from the North to the South bay, where the cement casts of the footprints and handprints of various important people are laid
Our instructor giving a warm direction of what we can do about the trash

Not only the big pieces, we also searched for microplastics in that area which may have several negative effects on environment
Look how many we got! 
After a nice lunch on the boat, it’s a fun time! Snorkeling tools and instructions are prepared for the guests, as well as a small lecture on marine species 
Leaving the busy town, getting ready to take a little adventure. We normally choose the day with clear sky, calm water, and relaxing breeze!
 Arriving Koh Sak by the glass-bottom boat. Our guests were so excited to see plenty of marine lives through the glass on the way to get to the shore

 Moving to the South Bay. Look how many trashes there were! It is usually like this every time we come! Our guests took a look around the bay and analyzed the ‘Causes & Effects’ of this circumstance
Scientifically measuring trashes in a meter-by-half-meter quadrat to see how many of them laying in a certain area

Now it’s time to wipe out the beach! Guests helping each other to collect and separate the rest of the unpleasant things on the beach
 Transporting the trash back to the boat – and then we got them back to the mainland at the dump site for proper management after we finished all the activities