Being able to conduct rapid species assessments is becoming increasingly more important as a conservation research tool. Our research team uses the ‘Roving Diver Technique”, a visual surveying method designed specifically for actively seeking out and positively identifying indicator species (especially fisheries targeted species) during a dive.

Data on species composition, sighting frequency, and abundance of all fishes are collected using this surveying method. The data is inputted into several online databases to contribute to various marine biologist studies of current shark and ray populations, as well as our own data log for fisheries management strategies.



Our research team goes out for minimum 4 dives a week to conduct Roving Survey dives throughout the Gili Matra Marine Reserve.  During these dives we count any and all indicator fish and we record number of individuals, species name, size, sex, and time of the dive it was spotted. These are fish that we fish and sharks eat. The more we see in a dive site the more likely there is too be sharks. During these we also count, measure and record all the sharks, rays and turtles we see.

Each member of the research team has its own slate and records a set of data. Back on the surface the group’s sightings are compared and combined into one set of data per survey dive. The data we collected during our roving survey dives is shared with the Indonesian government, University of Hull, Shark Base and E oceans.

The roving survey dives are lead and monitored by our marine biologist. Every new team member undergoes a thorough training about marine life conservation in the first week of their stay. The training focuses on buoyancy control, fish identification and indicator species. A dive master is on every dive to ensure the safety of the team.


By submitting the data into several databases we contribute to marine conservation efforts worldwide. Partnered with other projects including the Baited Remote Underwater Video and our Turtle- and Shark Photographic Identification project we use the collective data and results to change to parameters of the Gili Matra Marine Reserve.

By doing this we create a more effective local marine management strategy. Regulating no-fishing zones and limiting tourist access to critical habitats including breading grounds, nurseries, and congregation areas to maintain and regrow identified target zones throughout the reserve.