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Reef Check/Biosphere Expeditions EcoExpedition: Maldives

Expedition Dates:
September 12 -18, 2015
7 days

Expedition cost: £1,590 (approx. €1980 | US$2650 | AU$2840)

Introduction:
This SCUBA diving voluntourism expedition will take you to the beautiful 26 coral atolls that make up the Republic of Maldives. There you will help marine biologists study and protect its spectacular coral reefs and resident whale shark population. All this because the Maldives government identified a need for further research and monitoring work as far back as 1997. Biosphere Expeditions is addressing this need with your help and will train you as a Reef Check EcoDiver. With this qualification you will then gather important reef and whale shark data and you will also be eligible to apply for PADI or NAUI Reef Check Speciality Course certification after the expedition.

For more information about the Maldives EcoExpedition and how to sign up, please visit:

Website: http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/maldives

 
 

Reef Check/Biosphere Expeditions EcoExpedition: Musandam, Oman

Expedition Dates:
October 25 – October 31, 2015
7 days

Expedition cost: £1,280 (approx. €1590 | US$2090 | AU$2270)

Introduction:
This SCUBA diving citizen science expedition will take you to the United Arab Emirates and from there to the remote and mountainous Musandam peninsula of Oman. There you will study the diverse coral reefs fringing the areas where the mountains plunge into the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The reefs boast a rich mixture of beautiful corals and a multitude of fish and other animals. This pioneering study to map this unique underwater environment has already led to the creation of two protected areas. More data on the biological status of the reefs and of population levels of key indicator species are needed for educational purposes and to be able to put forward more ideas for more and larger marine protection areas. Data collection follows an internationally recognised coral reef monitoring programme, called Reef Check, and will also be used to make informed management and conservation decisions within the area. The expedition includes training as a Reef Check EcoDiver.

For more information about the Oman EcoExpedition and how to sign up, please visit:
Website: http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/musandam

2008 trip report
2009 trip report
2010 trip report

 
 
Reef Check/Biosphere Expeditions EcoExpedition: Malaysia

Expedition Dates:
2016
This expedition is on sabbatical until 2016. Click here to be notified when it is available

Expedition cost: TBD

Introduction:

This SCUBA diving voluntourism project will take you to Tioman, the Malaysian island named by Time Magazine as one of the world's most beautiful. Pulau Tioman is located 40 km off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. The island has a relaxed, quiet feel with beautiful, sandy beaches and a densely forested interior. The island's population is just over three thousand.

The reefs of Pulau Tioman Marine Park are some of the healthiest and most diverse around peninsular Malaysia and lie just inside the 'coral triangle', an area that has been identified as having the highest diversity of coral species anywhere in the world. The reefs in the coral triangle support 600+ genera of reef-building corals, 3000+ species of fish and contain 75% of all coral species known to science. The coral triangle was identified as a priority area for marine conservation and, during the 2007 United Nations Climate Change conference in Bali, a pledge to protect this marine environment was drawn up between the countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Pulau Tioman was gazetted as a nature reserve and Marine Park in 1998 to protect these valuable resources. A Marine Parks division of the government is present on the island. However, the island's growing tourist trade, crown of thorns population booms and developments on land are threatening the reefs' health and so data on the current biological status of the reefs and of population levels of key indicator species are crucial for park management and educational efforts. Tourism development is a priority for the government, but sustainable tourism is being overlooked in favour of cheaper, and more damaging mass tourism. If Malaysia's government and local populations can see small scale, responsible tourism development working for them, then the country's rich, natural resources could be protected more effectively.

Working in a very small group of five participants, one scientist and one expedition leader, you will assist the local researcher to study and protect the local Marine Park's beautiful but fragile coral reefs, as well as its marine megafauna such as sharks, dolphins & turtles. For the first five days of training and familiarising yourself with the Reef Check research techniques, you will be based at a beach chalet resort on Tioman island. After this, you will move to a 45 ft sloop rig sailing yacht research vessel, which will take you to remote areas of the Marine Park. The expedition includes training as a Reef Check EcoDiver. Please note that you need to be a fully qualified diver to take part in this expedition (minimum PADI Open Water or equivalent).

For more information about the Malaysia EcoExpedition and how to sign up, please visit:

Website: http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/malaysia