Indo Ocean Project

Indo Ocean Project – Dive Master Trainee

Indo Ocean Project was founded by marine biologists, dive instructors, and ocean enthusiasts from around the globe to create a nationwide standardized data collection and research diver training program in Indonesia, the heart of the coral triangle. Indo Ocean Project has been working together with dive operators, various universities, and the local communities to carry out scientific research to address shark, ray, and marine conservation issues in the Indo-Pacific area.

Our field expeditions in Indonesia hosts international and local research projects focused on marine megafauna and coral reef conservation in marine reserves across the country.

The aim of the Indo Ocean Project is to generate high-quality scientific data to inform local managers and stakeholders about the status of shark and ray populations in the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and to increase marine conservation awareness among the local communities and general public.

You don’t need to be a diver or scientist to apply! Our project relies on the experience and expertise of our volunteers from around the world to take action and take part.


Project Locations

1 – Penida Project: Located on the island of Nusa Penida off the southeastern coast of Bali in the Lombok Strait. The Penida MPA hosts a year-round population of manta rays, seasonal sightings of mola mola, and beautiful coral reefs. But watch out! Penida is famous for strong currents and cold upwellings which bring in nutrient-rich waters.

Entry Airport: Denpasar (Bali)

Current Projects: Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV), roving survey, coral nursery & restoration, coral biodiversity mapping, turtle ID, mangrove restoration, marine debris survey

2 – Bunaken Project: Located on the beautiful remote island of Pulau Bunaken off the Northern tip of Sulawesi around 40-minute boat ride from Manado City. Be dazzled by this national marine park’s crystal clear water, macro life, sea horses, reef sharks, eagle rays, turtles, and wall dives. Bunaken is where the water doesn’t go below 27 degrees and the longshore currents make for spectacular drift diving.

Entry Airport: Mando City

Current Projects: BRUV, roving survey dives, coral biodiversity mapping, turtle ID, marine debris survey

3 – Bira Project: Located on the southern tip of Sulawesi in a famous shipbuilding community called Bira. This untouched paradise is around a 4-hour drive from Indonesia’s third-largest city, Makasar. Picturesque private beaches and unexplored dive sites, Bira is quickly becoming known as Indonesia’s number one shark diving destination. Blue warm water and thriving coral reefs are the main draw to this remote part of Sulawesi.

Entry Airport: Makasar

Current Projects: BRUV, roving survey dives, coral biodiversity mapping, shark & turtle ID, marine debris survey, coral nursery & restoration


Why Us?

Indonesia has been ranked as the number one shark fishing nation for the last 3 decades. Geographically, Indonesia should have some of the highest biodiversity of shark, ray, and predatory species in the world, but the high demand for shark fins and manta ray gill rakers has caused severe overfishing across the country and nearly exhausted the population. This is the front lines of marine megafauna conservation efforts.

Due to the difficulties of studying elasmobranch abundance in the wild, different techniques had to be invented in order to address different ecological questions. One of these techniques is the Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV). This shark study method has been used in numerous studies around the world and has been shown to be very successful.

Interns with Indo Ocean Project are crucial to successful BRUV deployments, retrievals, and analysis. It takes a team to get everything done in the limited time available to us. As a member of the research team, you must be ready to work efficiently together in a fast-paced environment to ensure success.


About The Internship – Why become a Dive Master?

The Divemaster course is your first level of professional training. Working closely with your mentoring Dive Instructor and Nomads’ team, you’ll fine-tune your dive skills, like perfecting the effortless hover, and refine your rescue skills so you anticipate and easily solve common problems. You’ll gain dive knowledge, management and supervision abilities so you become a role model to divers everywhere.

As a Divemaster, you’ll lead others as you supervise scuba diving activities and assist with diver training. Divemasters are respected dive professionals who are aligned with the largest and most respected dive organization in the world – PADI.

Before you can be a good research diver, you first must be a good diver. The Dive Master and Research Diver Internship will give you the skills needed to work either in marine conservation/research or the diving industry. You will meet like-minded individuals and be able to network with experienced and aspiring marine biologists and organizations from around the world.

What will you learn?

The Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through knowledge development sessions with your mentoring instructor, Watermanship skills exercises and workshops, and hands-on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba activities. In partnership with your research diver internship, you will be able to conduct and lead various marine research.

More information about what you will learn and the workshops.

Current Projects

As an Indo Ocean intern, you will be trained in various research methods and trusted to adhere to our strict methodology laid out during your training period. We host multiple research and conservation projects and you will be expected to assist in the operation, running, and planning of each of these.

  1. BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) – underwater video surveillance to monitor shark, ray, and fisheries target species populations throughout the MPA. A baited camera is dropped 4x per week throughout the reserve and left to record for 1 hour. The footage is later analysed by our team and submitted to Dr. Mark Bond at Florida International University and The Coral Triangle Centre in Bali.
  2. Roving Survey Dive – 30-minute standardized survey where certified research divers actively seek out and positively identify indicator species. Data is logged and shared with various local and international sources.
  3. The Great Ocean Log – an application launching in April 2019 as a platform for citizen scientists around the world to consolidate their surveys. A free, open-access database of standardized citizen science practices.
  4. Coral Restoration – interns collect naturally occurring coral fragments from the surrounding areas and attach them to a fixed rope structure between 5m-12m. As the fragments grow large enough they are out-planted to nearby reefs of similar depths via the hitching technique.
  5. Mangrove Restoration – collecting of mangrove propagules around the coastlines and cultivating them in our mangrove nurseries where the seedlings are cared for. Around 3-5 months later they are ready for transplanting in predetermined locations around the project site.
  6. Biodiversity Mapping – in order to better understand the biodiversity of a region and the impacts of tourism over time, we produce a high resolution and detailed map and inventory on the overall biodiversity of our house reefs. Positively identified benthic and sessile organisms and cryptic invertebrates to the lowest possible classification. Using a quadrat surveying method, interns take to the ocean and map a large area using photo identification and GPS positioning.
  7. Shark, Turtle, & Manta Photo ID – profile pictures of turtles, sharks, and rays are taken and logged into the Great Ocean Log’s database using i3s identification software as well as shared with other photo ID organizations.

For more information about what a typical day is like and about all the different packages and prices

Next Step – Applications are accepted year-round for any start dates. However, with limited spaces available you may have to be flexible. High season is from June – October and spots fill up quickly during these dates. You can apply ONLINE or contact for more information.

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Please don’t forget to mention WiseOceans when booking your expedition!