An international day of recognition, World Oceans Day is a day designated by the United Nations on June 8th to celebrate the ocean and educate the world on the impact of human actions on the sea. Oceans play a vital role in everyday life by producing at least 50% of the world’s oxygen, providing homes to the earth’s biodiversity, and acting as a major food source for more than a billion people around the world. Humanity is taking more from the ocean than can be replenished, causing fish populations and coral reefs to be threatened. But our everyday actions can help preserve this vital habitat.
Across Thailand, many conservation and preservation projects are helping to clean up our oceans and keep the homes of our vibrant marine life safe.
Thailand is doing its part to save the oceans with conservation projects like Phuket Save the Sea Project. At Kata Beach in Phuket, the TAT Phuket office is teaming up with local private and public organizations, dive operators, and local artists to host an underwater clean-up dive!
The underwater dive saves hundreds of marine lives by removing litter that has ended up in the ocean, most often due to daily life leftovers thrown into the river that makes its way to the sea. Sea turtles and fish often mistake this litter for prey. By sorting the trash and cleaning up the sea, we protect those that call the ocean home.
For the Phuket Save the Sea Project, dive operators and program leaders meet with volunteers on the beach to gear up and go for a free dive to collect the litter. Scuba diving is quite popular throughout Thailand, not just to explore the underwater world but also to help conserve and protect the environment! The project also raises awareness of the importance of ocean conservation in the tourism industry and for newer generations.
After each collection, anyone is invited to create exquisite art out of litter at the fair on the beach. Visitors, locals, and volunteers all join to build something beautiful out of plastic and other rubbish found in the ocean.
Sea turtles are one of many species that are globally vulnerable and threatened by ocean waste. The leatherback turtle is considered endangered in Thailand but has recently seen the highest number of turtle nests in the country in decades. On Kata Beach in Phuket, the leatherback turtles have returned to nest due to calmer atmospheres along the beaches. Now, the turtles feel more encouraged to approach the shore and lay their eggs.
Additional Ocean Conservation Projects in Thailand
COREsea is a marine research and conservation program throughout Southeast Asia. With conservation, research, and education practices, the program helps people learn about preserving the sea. COREsea conducts its own research and experiments with a field research station located in the lower Gulf of Thailand in Ko Phangan. The team uses research vessels, dive equipment, and accommodations for guests that want to witness their efforts and learn more about the program. Learn more about COREsea here!
As a Marine Conservation project in Thailand, POD Volunteer supports marine conservation and research initiatives on the island of Ko Tao. The ethical nonprofit invites people worldwide to participate in their research, manage coral reefs, and work on coral restoration and protection. If you’re interested in joining POD Volunteer, apply on their site!
Open Mind Projects
Open Mind Projects is a marine conservation and dive volunteer center in Thailand. Working alongside Thai Marine Research Centers, volunteers can dive along the Andaman coast to monitor the status of coral reefs, fish species, and sea turtles and restore the beaches, mangroves, and sea bottoms. The program focuses on marine life and the threats they face each day, such as overdevelopment, mass tourism, and global warming. To join the dive team, visit their site.
Sea Turtle Conservation Center, Royal Thai Navy
As a sea turtle conservation center and nursery educating the general public, the program was established according to the Royal Initiative of Queen Sirikit, located within the Air and Coastal Defense Command, Sattahip District, Chonburi. Visitors can learn all about the life cycle and conservation of sea turtles. The center is also able to return raised sea turtles back to the sea! Learn more about the center here.
Help Save the Sea!
On World Oceans Day, we encourage you to find ways you can help conserve the ocean environment. You don’t have to be a scuba diver to help save the sea. You can also help by cleaning up beaches, your environment, or even reusing and recycling at home!