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Big Passion, Big Change

Gili Shark Conservation is a project that aims to restore coral reefs in the Gili Matra Marine Recreational Reserve and create the first recognized shark nursery by 2025. A team of five staff operate this amazing organization, small but making their mark. Of the five staff – three are local people (Musa, Katon & Cakra) who are employed as scientists, dive guides, and instructors - they are incredibly talented, and knowledgeable and could brighten any day with their infectious smiles. Rose who is the founder of the organization, oversees the project – however, is responsible for having the most inspiring and brilliant ideas possible, the reason why this project is so magical. Maisy, is the lead scientist and the most passionate person you’ll meet - she’s is Rose’s sidekick and together they are pretty much unstoppable. The amount of passion and love these five people hold is enough to inspire anyone.

My Experience

Anyone can write about something based off a website - but having truly experienced all it has to offer I can offer some honest advice. Join Gili Shark, you won't regret it and it will end up being one of the best experiences of your life.

During the 3 short weeks, I was there I:

  • Became a PADI advanced diver – I came with 7 dives and left with 32

  • Got my PADI Scientific diver and Shark Aware diver specialties

  • Identified 10 turtles through the database and named 5 new individuals

  • Identified 1 new White Tip Reef Shark

  • Did a coral health index survey

  • Collected coral fragments, transported them, and planted the on underwater structures

  • Participated in 5 Beach Cleanups and 3 underwater ones

  • Saw my first ever Spotted Eagle Ray at 30 meters down

  • Went sub-winging for the first time and assessed the coral cover

  • Did roving survey dives finding indicator species

  • Did Coral Watch Surveys

This list does not include the knowledge I gained, the friendships I made, and the fun I had every single day.

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A part of this island never leaves you. You become family. Projects like this are going to change the world one step at a time. The passion of people carries a long way. This project inspired me to develop this website and communicate science to all, imagine how many others it will inspire? Rose, you made me realize nothing is unattainable as long as you have the passion. And for all the people who got excited and inspired from reading this, just do it, go traveling, visit Gili Shark and make a difference. Live your marine biologist dreams, life’s too short to be kept wondering.

Coral Catch

Rose is also responsible for creating an additional project called Coral Catch. This project teaches Indonesian women to become coral restoration experts and divers. This project provides Indonesian women to develop a career doing what they love - developing the skills and knowledge to take all over Indonesia and educate others. Did I mention it's fully funded? 

"A unique scholarship program to empower local women, to protect and restore the coral reefs of Indonesia.”

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