Let Me Start By Telling You Why I Chose To Join The Gili Shark Conservation Project
My name is Luana, I am 33 years old and from Switzerland. I found the project through the internet while I was searching for a place where I could complete my Divemaster training and at the same time do something good for the sea and marine life. Since I have already visited Indonesia twice before, it was an easy decision for me to visit this diverse island state again. My plan was to stay for 8 weeks, become a Divemaster, PADI scientific diver and an AWARE Shark Conservation diver.
Getting Stuck On A Tropical Island
Soon after arriving on this beautiful island, I realized that many of the foreign people living here only planned to stay for a short time, but instead, never went home again. Who would have thought, that a similar thing would happen to me? Respectively – to almost all the Sharkies- because of Corona!
Spending Each Day Doing What I Love The Most
As many of us couldn’t go home for a longer time than initially planned, we started to settle into island life and enjoying our little swimming quarantine station. We are very fortunate because we still get to do what we love most – diving! Every day we can explore the beautiful coral reefs around the Gili Islands and continue to do our research. We would do roving surveys, Reef Check surveys or visit our baby corals at our coral restoration site. Because there are fewer divers, snorkelers and boat traffic, the fish population became denser and more diverse over the last few weeks. If you are lucky enough, you can even see sharks or manta rays!
Promoting a Plastic Free Paradise
Apart from research underwater, we have time to focus on beach clean-ups, making eco-bricks to build our own boat or up-cycle old T-shirts. It is important to us, to keep doing these things on land and help to make the island a cleaner place to live on. We are proud of our initiatives and I am grateful for everything that I have learned so far.
After 8 weeks of hard work, studying, learning how to take care of student divers, etc. I graduated successfully as a Divemaster and I am now allowed to take certified divers on underwater tours around the islands. I am grateful for all the lovely new people I met and can share my passion for diving and the underwater world. I can recommend everyone to join the project and become a scientific diver and divemaster – it is a unique experience!