Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Salmon 1Salmon, a Year 12 student at BISP, has been passionately working on a turtle conservation project in collaboration with other dedicated students: Petr, Sofia, Angel and Paige. Through his CAS project, Salmon embarked on a mission to raise awareness and instigate change. His efforts culminated in a successful fundraiser during BISP’s International Day, where the team raised an impressive amount of funds for the Sea Turtle Conservation Center at Phang Nga Naval Base. Their impactful work has gained recognition from influential figures such as the President of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO)’, Mr Rawat Areerob, who commended Salmon’s efforts and encouraged him to continue his advocacy beyond Phuket. Read Salmon’s reflections on his conservation work, showing how young people can make a real difference for the environment and wildlife.


Written by  BISP Year 12 Student Napat (Salmon)

2 1When I was at a local fish market in Phuket Town with my mother, a few years ago, I came across freshwater turtles in a bowl for sale. According to Thai custom, they were supposed to be sold and released for “good luck”. However, there was a catch. My mother told me that the turtles would be recaught and sold again. It was a scam. Being the owner of two pet red-eared slider turtles, I was shocked and disappointed that such turtle abuse was allowed to happen.

Fast forward a few years in IB, I was required to do a CAS project. To fill all the creativity, activity, and service slots, I decided to make good use of it by starting the turtle campaign.  In the early stages of the campaign, I focused on trying to get shops, restaurants, and various hotels to join my campaign. The idea was to create legitimacy and help spread the message to the people and tourists of Phuket about the abuse of turtles. In Thailand, the abuse of turtles is widespread; shops use their shells to make illegal amenities and souvenirs which are then sold to tourists.

A few weeks into the project I decided to set up a fundraiser for the turtles at BISP during International Day. I purchased butter cookies and packaged them into small boxes to be sold. Initially, I was concerned with how low the sales were, so my team decided we should move our stall to the centre of the event where we managed to attract many curious parents and teachers, as this was something new. After clearing crates of cookies, we managed to fundraise 16,475 Baht! This money was directly donated by me to the Sea Turtle Conservation Center at Phang Nga Naval Base.

While visiting the turtle sanctuary in Phang-Nga I found the water to be incredibly unclean. This was due to the lack of water circulation or filtration. To fix this I decided to design an affordable water filter that is easy to maintain.

It has to be affordable because the Navy seamen lack significant funding. It also has to be easy to maintain as they lack the expertise needed to maintain water filters. Currently, the sick turtles that are individually quarantined are left alone in a dirty pool of water and struggle to regain their strength. When the water’s condition is better, their recovery would be faster and eventually be released into the ocean faster too.

unnamed 29The plan for the water filter is to be affordable and easy to maintain. The main filter itself will consist of multiple layers of rocks and fishing nets. The fishing nets will be able to drop a good deal of debris whilst the rocks will filter out the large chunks and provide a resting place for the bacteria which will help break down the chunks, they will act as biological filters. I used fishing nets as they are easy to find and a common byproduct in Phuket from fishing. Furthermore, finding a use for them is quite beneficial as most seamen will throw them back into the ocean which ends up injuring or even killing wildlife.

After the fundraiser, I caught the attention of Mr. Rawat Areerob who was the Chief Executive at the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization. Impressed by my efforts, he awarded me a certificate to congratulate me and urged me to continue expanding the project into other parts of Thailand. Additionally, he invited the Free Turtle Thailand team to any future turtle-related events such as beach cleanups or turtle releases. On the way home, I felt a great deal of hope and satisfaction.