Gili Shark Conservation Project Volunteer
Like most scuba divers, we’re big shark lovers. And living in Indonesia, the center of the Coral Triangle, we should be seeing one of the most diverse collections of sharks found in the world on a daily basis. Yet we don’t.
Indonesia is unfortunately the largest shark fishing nation in the world. The IUCN states that out of the 1000+ assessed species of cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, skates, chimearas), 30% are threatened with extinction! Sharks are targeted for their fins to be sold a Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup. Rays are also caught on mass in Indonesia for their gill rakers, which the Chinese believe to have magical medicinal powers.
So what are we doing about it?
Sitting right off the coast of Lombok are three small idyllic islands known as the Gilis. At Gili Shark Conservation, our main goal is to work with local government and non-government organizations to provide critical data for effective marine management. We hope to make a part of the marine park the first official shark nursery in Indonesia, which would prohibit fisherman from fishing these waters and protect our local reef sharks. To achieve this, we are gathering scientific data to prove that this area is in fact a shark nursery and we hope we can achieve our goal by 2025.
Together we do better
We believe a strong community of different individuals can make a bigger impact on marine protection than a single organization. That’s why we work together with the local government, multiple universities and different NGO’s and companies worldwide. We also created a special scholarship program for Indonesian women to encourage and empower them to have a career in marine conservation.
Our day to day. Life as a Gili Shark Warrior.
Our research team consist out of marine biologists, dive instructors, scholarship candidates, ocean lovers and shark warriors from all different ages and backgrounds. You will be a critical member of the team and will assist with research dives in the mornings and inputting and analyzing the data in the afternoons.
Your first 2 weeks are dedicated to diver and scientific methodology training. First you must be a good diver before you can become a good research diver. Included in your program is your PADI Scientific Diver Course (this course is developed by Gili Shark Conservation and they are the only ones in the world that are allowed to teach this cool course) and PADI Aware Shark Specialty Course. If you stay 3 weeks or longer you also receive your next level of diving certification.
The accommodation and Shark Headquarters is located in a beautiful boutique hotel called Villa Nangka, complete with kitchen, hot water showers, and a 11-meter pool! This is where the research team comes together every morning to enjoy a delicious breakfast while listening to the dive briefing of their first research dive of the day. After breakfast we head to the dive center to set up our equipment and load it onto the Gili Shark Conservation boat.
The Shark Warriors of Gili Shark Conservation call the ocean their office for a reason; they spend on average 8 hours per week underwater and always say: “The best way to start the day is with two dives!”. By helping them to collect data on their research dives, you support their mission to help create the first recognized shark nursery ground in Indonesia in the Gili Matra Marine Reserve.
In the afternoons, you will attend workshops on our research methods, conduct data input and analysis, and attend community beach clean ups and underwater clean ups.
The evenings and weekends are spent together trying out different restaurants on the island, doing yoga classes, or having a drink with friends around the island. Two things are for sure: you will never be bored and you will not regret signing up for this fin-tastic adventure!
How to apply
To find out more and apply visit the Gili Shark Conservation website.