Reef Check/Biosphere Expeditions EcoExpedition: Maldives
Reef Check/Biosphere Expeditions EcoExpedition: Musandam, Oman
For more information about the Oman EcoExpedition and how to sign up, please visit:
This expedition is on sabbatical until 2016. Click here to be notified when it is available
Expedition cost: TBD
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: