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29, Jan, 2008

Project AWARE – Environmental Achievement Award 2007

Posted in Aqualogy, Eco News, Environmental Awards, Latest News, Press Releases by saffron

Project AWAREScubafish and Narima Diving are delighted to have been awarded the Project AWARE – Environmental Achievement Award 2007!

Project AWARE Foundation honors dive operators around the world who display commitment and excellence in their efforts to protect underwater environments within business operations and their community.

Project AWARE Foundation Chairman, Dr. Drew Richardson recognizes the importance of the scuba diving community taking its part on protection of global ecosystems.

“The Environment Achievement Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations,”

states Richardson.

“Project Aware recognises that Scubafish and Narima Diving operate in an environmentally responsible manner and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. Project Aware is pleased to award them the Project Aware Environmental Achievement Award for 2007.”

Scubafish is a small, eco-friendly, PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort located near the National Marine Park in Kantiang Bay in the South of Ko Lanta. Narima Diving is a PADI Dive Centre set within the Narima Resort, a beautifully designed, eco-chic resort located within natural rain forest that has been growing on the island for thousands of years. All bungalows have been constructed from natural, ecological materials that blend well into the surroundings and construction was planned around the existing trees. It’s hard to spot the resort from the sea as it seems to disappear into the natural rainforest backdrop. Sustainable tourism methods are utilised to provide low-impact, simple and environmentally conscious accommodation.

Scubafish and Narima Diving offer 3 key areas for Diver Education:

PADI 5 Star, Gold Palm IDC Training Facility
Liquid Lense – Underwater Digital Imaging Academy
Aqualogy – Marine Education Centre

Our reputation stems from high quality personal service, dedication to the marine environment and our love of the aquatic world. We offer a unique diving experience to divers visiting Ko Lanta, Thailand.

In response to dramatic changes in our local reef health (specifically Hin Muang), we set out to make environmental awareness and conservation our main goal. In 2007, we introduced AQUALOGY – Marine Education Centre. Founded as a joint project between Scubafish and Aqualogy’s Marine Scientists, Aqualogy provides a variety of courses and marine education to divers on holiday, and is also a base for Coral Reef Research and Reef Monitoring Projects. We work with ReefCheck to supply research and data to contribute to their Global Reef Monitoring Project.

We focus on the importance of conserving underwater environments, and how we can, through education and action, make a difference to the world we live in. Aqualogy is involved in a number of marine conservation, research and local community projects. We believe that we are in a unique position to be able to actively put something back into the environment in which we live. Environmental education and awareness materials help us to educate, divers, non-divers and locals in the importance of protecting our oceans and reefs.

Current Environmental Awareness Recognition:
Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award
Project AWARE – Go ECO Operator
Project AWARE – CoralWatch Operator
Green Fins Member
ReefCheck Training Facility
EU Responsible Tourism Award – Scubafish and Narima Diving were 2 of only 9 Dive Centres in Thailand recognised as meeting European Standards for Sustainable Tourism Management in Thailand.

Environmentally Aware Diver Education offered:

PADI – AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Course
PADI – Whale Shark Awareness Diver Specialty Course
ReefCheck – Discover ReefCheck Course
ReefCheck – EcoDiver Course
Aqualogy – Tropical Reef Diver Course
Aqualogy – Discover Marine Habitats
Aqualogy – Discover Fish Ecology
Aqualogy – Discover Zoology
Aqualogy – Discover Oceanography
Aqualogy Reef Plus Course – Sharks & Rays (Cartilaginous Fish)
Aqualogy Reef Plus Course – Venomous Species
Aqualogy Reef Plus Course – Coral Life
Aqualogy Reef Plus Course – Tropical Reef Fish (Bony Fish)

Community Project Involvement and Initiatives:

Project CleanUp – We’re actively involved in regular Beach and Reef Clean Up Projects. We regularly schedule community beach clean-ups and get the local kids, residents and tourists involved. We participate in Project AWARE Beach Clean-Ups and encourage all our divers to pick up any litter they see on the beaches or on the reefs.

Sustainable Tourism Standards – Scubafish and Narima Diving were 2 of only 9 Dive Centres in Thailand recognised as meeting European Standards for Sustainable Tourism Management in Thailand.

Project Swim – We are initiating a project in conjunction with our Thai Divemaster and a European swimming Instructor to teach kids from the local community to swim. We take this opportunity to impart a reef-conscious outlook and emphasize the need to protect the marine environment. Many local families rely heavily on fishing, so it is easy to present the huge positive benefit in preserving the environment they depend on.

Public Awareness Education:

• Explanations displayed in Thai about
o responsible diving practices,
o responsible waste management practices,
o responsible boat mooring practices
o reef-conscious diving and buoyancy practices.
• Presentations given to locals about benefits of recycling, reducing plastic and polystyrene overuses
• Support of local recycling initiatives

Child Participation:

We get all our Bubblemakers involved in CoralWatch reef-health monitoring. They love taking the slates diving and gaining a sense of satisfaction in contributing towards conserving our coral reefs.

Boat & Dive Briefings and Information:

• Active encouragement all our staff and divers to take an active interest in protecting the marine life they observe whilst diving.
• Information on display from Project Aware Go ECO and Greenfins that details, in English and Thai:
o responsible diving practices,
o responsible waste management practices,
o responsible boat mooring practices
o reef-conscious diving and buoyancy practices.
• Environmentally-informative briefings on the boat and before each dive which include information about:
o waste management on the boat
o marine life interaction – demonstrating to interact in a passive, low-impact way
o fish ID information
o information about threats to various costal and underwater environments and habitats so that everyone who takes part in one of our trips becomes interested and aware of the issues surrounding the need for conservation and preservation.
• Marine Scientists onboard to give presentations on marine eco-systems, marine habitats, threats and conservation action required.
• We require a buoyancy check dive be completed by ever diver wishing to participate in reef monitoring or marine biology dives or courses


Daily Dive Site Data Collection Project – Our Daily Data Collection project involves collecting daily information about water temperature, current and fish data. We hope to learn and observe seasonal patterns in different species, local to our area.

Reef Surveys – We participate in the ReefCheck EcoAction programme and contribute to their global survey of Reef Health. We also offer Discover ReefCheck and ReefCheck – EcoDiver courses, for an introduction to (and certification in) reef monitoring and surveying techniques.

Permanent Transact Line Project – To enhance our commitment to ReefCheck we are building a permanent Transact Line to enable ReefCheck dives to be conducted more easily and to provide more consistent data for their worldwide reef-surveying project.

Research Projects:

Project Whale Shark – We are working to create a Lanta Whale Shark Sightings Database, so that we can track if the same individuals return each year and if they follow a path between dive sites in our area. You can also take the PADI Whale Shark Awareness Course. This course gives an introduction to the world’s largest fish and will familiarise you with the proper techniques for diving with Whale Sharks so as to cause minimal impact on the sharks’ habitat and behaviour.

Artificial Reef Project – we start this project by running tests to see if this area can support an artificial reef. We hope that by creating new sheltered areas for reefs to grow will promote the continued sustainability of the diversity of marine life we see in our area. We plan to submerge various test materials at varying locations and depths to see which materials perform the best. Over a period of time, we can monitor potential coral growth at each location to determine the best artificial reef scenario. Video and photo logs will be kept alongside data sheets and monitoring data.


Good Mooring Practices – To reduce impact on the environment, increase boat performance and ultimately save money on operation costs, our boat has been fitted with the very first set of highly efficient, low emission’s Suzuki V6 DF300’s in Thailand. The Shallow-V hull design combined with the big, efficient, high output Suzuki engines, mean that as well as smoother, faster journeys, we now have 65% lower emissions than the EPA 2006 Standards.
We set up moorings for our boats in a bay in the south of Lanta. This puts us closer to the dive sites, therefore making our journey times considerably shorter, which means less fuel used.

Recycling & Waste Management – On board we provide bags to help us recycle refuse, and display posters to advocate reducing impact on the environment.

Reef & Costal Conservation Projects – House Reef Mapping Project – Ko Lanta is a fairly unusual island in this area, in that it does not have a coral reef around the island. Here in Kantiang Bay, in the South of Ko Lanta, we are one of the only beaches in Ko Lanta to have any coral reef growth. We have conducted some exploratory dives on these reefs and have observed some extremely interesting macro life. There are colonies of nudibranches that we have never seen on other dive sites in the area, as well as many species of juvenile fish, small rays and anemones. There are even some small Gorgonian Sea Fans and Table Corals.
One of our projects for 2007-08 is to effectively map this area and identify as many of the species that inhabit it, as we can.

Community Conservation Projects – Underwater Reef Clean-Ups are a regular part of our dive season. We are working on a project to rejuvenate our recently discovered House Reef in Kantiang Bay. Currently, there is a promising amount of reef growth, however many fishing lines and debris are disturbing the reef from flourishing as it should.

Our Lanta Community Project is an ongoing commitment to give something back to the community we are part of. We educate community members about the importance of conserving underwater environments. Also, learning to swim is not something that every child automatically learns, despite living on a small island. It is our aim to provide swimming lessons to local schools and communities .

Volunteer Projects

Fishing is a huge part of many family’s lives on Koh Lanta. The key to success in protecting the environment, is to create a new generation of ambassadors who themselves see the value of caring about the environment. In a community where almost everyone learns about fishing, an education in eco-awareness and marine life conservation, can only be a positive combination. In order for plentiful fish stocks to be available for future generations, it is essential for us to look after reefs, where the juvenile fish can shelter, right now.

Through local meetings with community leaders, and by educating the local children who will be our future generation of underwater conservationists, we hope to make a difference that can be seen by the local community. By contributing in this way, we hope that the future of both our cultural heritage and the natural beauty of our oceans, can survive.



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