Penida Project – Bimonthly Report June 2019

Serena Stean

Program Director & Dive Master Instructor

Since the last update an additional 9 PADI Divemasters have been certified and we are proud to have sent even more amazing professionals into the diving world. So a huge congratulations to; Hannah, Lilly, Evan, Holly, Sandra and Marleen, Liz, Holly and Darby! That’s a total of 30 Divemasters certified at the Nusa Penida Headquarters. 

In addition to new interns and our first Indonesian scholarship intern Novie, we also welcomed the second boat of the Nomads Diving fleet and we are already enjoying conducting science and training from the beautiful Kimberley… her width allows us to store all our BRUV and Survey equipment with ease and we cannot thank Lauren and Matt at Nomads enough for allowing us to use her. Novie has been busy learning the project and is spearheading our education program in the local Nusa Penida community, with the hope of inspiring Indonesian conservationists of the future.

In terms of diving activities all our interns are loving our pristine reefs and fantastc creatures. Spectacular sighting of THRESHER Sharks, HAMMERHEAD Sharks, DOLPHINS and the return of our Mola Mola visitors have made dives incredibly exciting. In addition Manta Point has been on fire recently with up to 30 Mantas visiting our world famous cleaning stations daily. We’ve seen mating trains, mating scars, pregnant mantas and juveniles, all super curious and putting on incredible shows in the now slightly colder waters on the South Side of Penida. We are all ready for high season and can’t wait to see what else will turn up!

I travelled to ADEX in March to talk to other organisations about setting up collaborative data collection and be inspired by many of the world’s top conservationists, a new mini workshop about Frogfish and Molas will be completed shortly and I am spreading the #Idontmovecritters movement amongst our trainees, as well as recommending them to dive shops elsewhere that take part in the environmentally responsible movement.

Since the last update 40 environmental specialty courses have been completed in Marine Ecology, Shark Ecology, Manta Ray Conservation, Sea Turtle Ecology and Coral Reef Identification, as well as additional specialties such as the fantastically fun Deep Diving Specialty, completed by many of our graduates. 

The mapping projects completed by Divemaster interns are now available to view on a brand new interactive dive site guide map at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RsY_7EderZsRo_Iir2ef3J6vA0KlIsCa. So far Crystal Bay, Manta Point, PED, SD Point, Toyapakeh and Mangrove have full guides available, next up will be the amazing Sental dive site.

The Turtle ID Project has continues to flourish with posters for contribution distributed around Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan dive shops, we are now at 100 identified turtles around our small island and current interns Sandra and Breanna are working hard daily on identifying all the pictures we receive. Ceningan Divers have been one of the top outside contributors to the database, marketing superstars Evey and Nelleke have supplied us with hundreds of images and have been able to name many new turtles. 

The launch of the second project in Bunaken is already producing some fantastic results and will continue to operate until October under the careful guidance of our lead marine biologist superstar Pascal Sebastian. Additionally the Bira project is now taking bookings and will begin operations on the 1st October…. the Indo Ocean Project family continues to grow and we are all incredibly proud to be part of this fantastic organisation.

Novie Yunita Bahri

Program Coordinator and Community Officer

MANGROVE

Every month we collect propagules from the surrounding area, and we plant them again in pots made from recycled bottles and put them in several nurseries. In May we planted 283 Rhizophora propagules and we will wait around 2-3 month until they have 4-6 leaves and are ready to re-plant in Nusa Ceningan. 

Now we have new collaboration with Ceningan Dive Resort who have welcomed a mangrove nursery to help restore their surrounding mangrove forrest. They host regular conervation workshops and talks so stop by there to learn more about all their amazing work. In June we planted 250 Rhizophora propagules and re-planted 84 Rhizophora plants around their jetty in front of Ceningan Dive Resort Bar.

We will build a new mangrove nursery for 2 others dive centers and in one of local school over the next few months. So far we have 500 propagules in nurseries waiting to grow before transplanting.

PLASTIC POLLUTION 

We take part with Trash Hero Nusa Penida, once a week every Monday. Trash Hero is a community inniative across South East Asia that organizes weekly clean ups to help combate plastic pollution in tourist areas. Anyone is welcome to join, check out their facebook page and find a chapter near you and give back on your next holiday. Be part of the solution and meet great people!

We continue our weekly data collection clean up with Save The Plastic in the absence of it’s fearless leader and Plastic Princess, Yana. 500m beach clean up in front of the Nomads shop is conducted, followed by separation, weighing, and data input.

Total rubbish from January – May 2019 : 1.813kg and ropes make up 929kg

We also do dive again debris and record what we found. June 8th was World Ocean day and together with several dive centres on Penida we organized a massive dive against debris.

The Results:

Dive site – PED

Max. Depth – 15 meter

Dive Time  – 45 minute

Divers – 12 diver + 3 snorkler

Total Rubbish – 2,2 Kg

Rope – 0,56 Kg

Dive Site – Karang Sari

Max. Depth – 15 meter

Dive Time – 60 minute

Diver – 6 diver + 2 Photographer

Total Rubbish – 6,4 kg

Rope – 2,6 kg

Dive Site – Karang Sari

Max. Depth – 20 meter

Dive Time – 45 minute

Divers – 5 DIVER

Total Rubbish – 6,4 kg

Rope – 1,8 kg

COMMUNITY PROGRAM

We have started work on our local community outreach program working with a local school, SMP Negeri 1 Nusa Penida (junior high school) to develop an education program. We got really good response from the school and will begin the after school science and outdoor program next month. The program will include an introdction to some of our projects here in Penida including: mangrove workshops and nursery maintainance, plastic workshops and beach clean ups, swimming lesson, and introduction to marine biology workshops. A few lucky and comitted students will be offered their Open Water course with Nomads Diving as a rewards at the end of each semester.

From The Scientists

While our lead scientist, Pascal, is in Bunaken launching our second Indo Ocean Project location, research on Penida continues to grow under his watchful eye. ​

The launch of the Coral Mapping and Biodiversity Project was a success and our new interns will soon be ready to continue the meticulous work left by Marleen and Holly. (thank you girls!) We are hoping to have the first section of Dan’s Reef fully mapped out with all resident corals, sponges, reef fish and invertebrates identified within the coming weeks. 

Once we have established the biodiversity of the site we will be moving forward with our coral restoration project. The first coral nursery has been welded and the location for its installation has been identified from our initial mapping efforts.

Our regular data collection from Roving Survey Dives and BRUV drops continue with epic results over the last few months. At present we have deployed 42 BRUVs around Nusa Penida with two more sites, Manta Point and Batu Mulapan, recently added to the database. From these new sites we recorded our first big grouping of blue spotted stingrays and 7 scallop hammerheads!!!!! 

We are also very close to having completed a one years worth of Roving Survey Dives with a total of 206 completed to date. 

Our Unite Penida data is expanding with more species continually being sighted and added to our database. The ocean has gone crazy recently serving an abundance of sightings all over the place! So far 6 species of ray (Reef Manta, Spotted Eagle Ray, Blue Spotted Stingray, Tahitian Stingray, Blue Ribbontail Ray, and Marbled Stingray), 9 species of sharks (Thresher, Hammerhead, Tawny Nurse, Grey Reef, Whitetip Reef, Blacktip Reef, Whaleshark, Brown Banded Bamboo shark, and Indonesian Wobbegong), 2 species of turtles (Green and Hawksbill) and 1 species of dolphin (Indo Pacific Bottlenose) and sunfish (Mola Alexandrini)  have been recorded to date.

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