A Review of the Coral Conservation Course offered by Biosphere Foundation
A Group of Inspiring Individuals
Before we can get onto the review of the Coral Conversation Course, we must first set the stage. On Sept 26th, 1991, eight scientists entered the airlock door of the Biosphere 2 domed structure. They spent the next two years inside this self-contained structure. The goal of this endeavour was to prove that human well-being had a symbiotic link to the health of the Earth. Inside of the dome was a working and breathing ecosystem. The eight scientists inhabiting the dome needed to coexist with the ecosystem to reach their goals.
Three of the original participants of this experience created the Biosphere Foundation. The goal was to inspire individuals to live sustainably with the Earth’s natural resources. They chose the beauty of North West Bali as their base of operation. They have been in this region for over 15 years working relentlessly at their goals. With the increase of ecotourism, their projects and facilities have become impressive.
Biosphere Foundation & Abyss Ocean World
Abyss Ocean World believes that we must develop our knowledge and skills every day. When we heard about the projects the Biosphere team was working on, we wanted to place ourselves near their wake of inspiration. We kept hearing stories about Friends of Menjangan. They trained a small group of locals to help them with their coral conservation projects. Those locals are responsible for the moorings as well as monitoring invasive species from Menjangan Island. They also had a thriving coral garden on the outer boundaries of the Bali Barat National Park area.
We were ecstatic when Biosphere Foundation reached out to us to take part in their Coral Stewardship Course. The Abyss Team had been eager to start some of these types of projects in Pemuteran Bay for some time. We were passionate about doing our part to protect the marine ecosystems we used as our office. With the growth of ecotourism, we saw a great opportunity in adding these types of projects to our company’s profile. Before we could continue we needed to learn from the experts.
Review of the
Coral Gardening & Conservation Stewardship Course
The Coral Gardening class was designed to educate local communities to manage their marine resources. Pak Ketut Sutama was our lead instructor for the course. He has been a crucial part of the Friends of Menjangan initiative for the past ten years. The conservation class was broken down into three aspects, mixing theory class and scuba diving:
Mooring Buoy Installation & Maintenance
Assessment & Removal of Invasive Species
Techniques & Best Practises for Coral Gardening
During the conservation course we learned how important mooring buoys are for Pemuteran Bay. We learned and practised various techniques on how to make sure our moorings in Pemuteran Bay remained useful for as long as possible. We also discussed and explored the threats and potential for Invasive Species in our area. The two main species we have been trained to monitor and remove while scuba diving or snorkelling are:
- Crown of Thorns Starfish
- Drupella Sea Snail
The Coral Gardening part of the course was definitely the highlight. We coved the following topics in a thorough manner.
- Benefits and Logic behind setting up a coral garden
- Conditions to consider when choosing the location of an area that will be used as conservation site
- Ways to prepare the location for transplanted corals
- How to find & which corals species to take for translating to the conservation site
- Preparing the Cement & Attaching the coral to its new location at the coral garden
The Conservation Stewardship class & Coral Gardening Course was a total success! We learned useful practical knowledge meanwhile adapting our scuba diving skills. Our favourite aspect of this method of coral gardening is that we are re-planting broken, but living coral fragments, back onto the reef. We are NOT damaging coral in the process, we collect pre-broken fragments and transplant them to our coral garden. This information needs to be shared, so we have added parts of this course to our Divemaster Programs.
This course sparked an inspiration that led us to create Friends of Pemuteran.
Introducing Friends of Pemuteran
A lot of the inspiration and guidance came from the Biosphere Foundation. We looked to their community group called Friends of Menjangan and decided to follow in this direction.
Friends of Pemuteran is a group of patient optimistic businesses based in Pemuteran. The members believe they will succeed where before others have struggled. Our small group of businesses all agrees on a code of conduct. Following the same environmental sustainability guideline as well as Safety & Operational standards. These guidelines assure a sustainable business model and help attract eco-tourism to Pemuteran.
The goal of Friends of Pemuteran is to inspire the community to take action. More businesses will join which will increase the number of participants. We may be small in numbers, but our drive and direction are straight forward. To get more information on the projects and members of Friends of Pemuteran, please follow us on Instagram @Friends of Pemuteran.