Coral reef restoration

Project name:

Tropical Research and Conservation Centre

Project purpose:

Coral reef restoration

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

  • scuba diving

Marine

Malaysia

South-East Asia

Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

240

Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • field research skills

  • gain a qualification or credit

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

Accommodation:

Sheltered tents

Requirements:

Facilities:

accommodation included, cooking facilities, electricity, food included, refillable drinking water, shower (bucket), shower (cold), (toilet western)

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

TRACC is located on Pom Pom Island off the coast of Borneo; around a 50 minute boat ride from the town of Semporna and is a truly beautiful location to live, work, dive and laugh. It’s a tiny island taking around 20/25 minutes to walk around and the project is surrounded by a growing number of resorts making restoration work ever more important. 

This area of Borneo has been largely effected by bomb fishing which has devastated large parts of the reef at Pom Pom Island as well as turtle and other marine populations. However, there are many great dive sites around the island such as Mandarin Playground and Lobster Wall, but most of your time will be working on the fragmented and bleached areas (obviously). 

Work consists of reef stabilisation, turtle and fish ID surveys, coral biscuit making, work on the coral nursery, removing invasive species and much more. Further work is done in on surrounding islands with beach cleans and work with locals to reduce plastic contamination of which was there in shocking amounts. Much of the restoration efforts are now related to the development and deployment of Artificial Reef Crests (ARC) to stabilise the reef crest and provide a new environment for reef to grow from. These are made from sand, stones, crushed (dead) coral and a cement mix. The deployment dive to fix these in place was one of the best dives I’ve ever had… it was so tough but so interesting and extremely rewarding. 

A typical week consists of 2/3 work dives per day with Sunday fun-day dives at neighbouring islands and Mondays off. You don't have to have any training prior to arrival, with PADI courses taught there for around £160 per course. 

I couldn't give a higher recommendation for TRACC, it was a truly amazing project to be a part of. It's extremely basic living but at the same time everything you could ever ask for. The chefs cook amazing food lunch and dinner and when you're not diving, island life is pretty blissful. Everyone helps out around the camp, building or refurb, but there's also the jungle gym or just some hammocks to chill in.

How long can I stay?

When does the project run?

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Reviews & ratings

Matt Megill

The previous review I accidentally submitted before I was done. And I want to write the FULL REVIEW:

Diving at Isla del Caño was such a life changing, passion accelerating experience for me. I had done a conservation diving internship in Thailand before this experience, and it felt GREAT to apply those skills and field methods to another part of the world. I had a passion for the ocean before this experience, however this expedition solidified that I need to dedicate my life and career to the ocean and science.

Carlos is truly an inspiration. His fiery passion for the ocean is contagious. He worked really hard to put the experience together with the boat, the dive equipment, and the education. This expedition was a lot of hard work. We woke up really early went on two dives a day. We came back exhausted. But I really can't stress how rewarding the experience was. The fact we were literally advising and providing resources for the rangers protecting the island made me feel like I was making a difference in the world.

This will not be the last Innoexpedition I go on. And I will keep supporting Innoceana and promoting all the work it is doing.

Volunteer

Wasn't finished...

Matt Megill

Diving at Isla del Caño was such a life changing, passion accelerating experience for me. I had done a conservation diving internship in Thailand before this experience, and it felt GREAT to apply those skills and field methods to another part of the world. I had a passion for the ocean before this experience, however this expedition solidified that I need to dedicate my life and career to the ocean and science.

Carlos is truly an inspiration. His firey He worked really hard to put the experience together with the boat, the dive equipment, and the education. This expedition was a lot of hard work. We woke up really early went on two dives a day. We came back exhausted. But I really can't stress how rewarding the experience was. The fact we were literally kind of advising and providing resources for the rangers protecting the island made me feel like I was making a difference in the world.

Volunteer

An Experience of a Lifetime