Available in multiple locations around Indonesia, our divemaster program is a mix of traditional divemaster training with hands-on marine conservation experience. In this article, we would like to introduce you to our unique approach in training the next generation of marine scientists and dive professionals.
A little about our project…
Indo Ocean Project is a marine conservation and research organisation, launched in 2018 by marine biologist and dive instructor, Lauren Sparks. We partner with awesome organisations like Marine Megafauna, Trash Hero, Coral Triangle Center, Ocean Gardener, CoralWatch, Elasmobranch Project Indonesia and more.
Located in the heart of the coral triangle, our vision is to protect and preserve our ocean through research and education. Currently, we are based in two locations, Nusa Penida and Bira, but we already have future plans to expand to more amazing places in the near future!
You will have to master all underwater skills such as taking off your mask or BCD, assisting instructors in different courses and help with loading and preparing the boat.
Oh, and don’t forget the all-time favourite – the stamina test! This test is designed to assess your level of fitness. You will have to do a 400m swim with no equipment, followed by an 800m snorkel and a 15 minute water tread. Sounds quite scary, but if you’re a good swimmer, you have nothing to worry about. And if you’re not, well, you can do a few laps around the pool and practice before you start!
Everything that is mentioned above is just the regular divemaster training. However, we offer this plus a thorough education in marine conservation and research, including practical experience.
Our marine conservation internship is uniquely tailored to people who are not only aspiring to be a dive professional, but also preserving and protecting the ocean. It is perfect for marine biology and science students, who want to gain practical experience in ocean conservation and understand what it takes to work in this field. Or simply for anyone, who loves the ocean and wants to contribute to its protection.
Below you can find a short overview of what our conservation program contains.
Throughout the program, you will be part of a variety of ecology workshops, taught by our team of marine biologists and dive instructors.
Our workshops include:
- Shark Conservation
- Manta Ray Conservation
- Sea Turtle Conservation
- Mola Conservation
- Coral Ecology, Coral Identification & Coral Restoration
- Nudibranchs & Macro Life
- Mangrove Conservation
At the end of most workshops, there will be a knowledge review, which you will have to complete to earn your ecology speciality certifications. You will learn everything from current threats, anatomy, behaviour and conservation, which will give you a deep understanding of the topic.
Dive Against Debris
We love a good dive against debris!
On our regular clean-up dives, we grab our mesh bags, gloves and smiles, and head to clean up site. Back in the dive shop, we count and weigh all the collected debris, and the results are uploaded to the Dive Against Debris global database.
Guess how much debris we collected within the first 3 months of 2022? A whooping 109.17 kg!
Baited remote underwater video (BRUV) is a popular activity amongst our interns. During a BRUV deployment, a frame with a mounted GoPro is carefully placed onto a reef and left for one hour recording.
It’s a non-invasive technique to observe the marine life and collect data on the fish abundance in the area, without present human activity. All the recordings are viewed afterwords and the data on the key species and species of interest is collected, including the sizes and behaviour.
Here you can read more about the BRUV!
Before your arrival, you will have access to the pre-arrival training program which includes species identification. Once you arrive, you will complete theory and practical workshops and pass 3 identification tests before qualifying to collect survey data. During your marine conservation internship, you will become a pro in identifying and sizing key fish species and species of interest, just by having a look at them!
We train our interns in fish identification to prepare them for the regular conducted roving survey dives. During those dives, you will record key species over 20cm for the duration of 30 min. Back in the shop, you will compare the data with your fellow research divers and combine it into one data set.
You will be surprised how easy it will get to identify the fish after a few practice dives!
Contributing to coral reef restoration and conservation efforts, we manage several coral nurseries across our locations and is an integral part of our internship program. Coral reefs are facing growing threats all over the world, and we want to focus on installing coral nurseries in targeted areas and regenerate the reefs. The coral restoration activity and workshop are combined into a three-day course with our partners Ocean Gardener.
The first day fully consists of theory, led by our in-house marine biologist and Ocean Gardener instructor. The instructor will teach you everything about coral anatomy, coral threats, reproduction, environment and different species. Did you know, that alone in Indonesia, there are over 590 identified species of corals? But don’t worry, you wont need to learn them all.
On the second day, there will be a coral ID dive, where the instructor will be showing you the coral species underwater and teach you how to identity and differentiate them.
The most exciting part comes on the third and final day of the Ocean Gardener course, where we’re actively attach coral fragments onto the fixed rope in the coral nursery. Once those fragments are large and strong enough, they will be planted out to nearby reefs to restore the damaged area and bridge healthy ecosystems.
We found that this methodology is the most fitting to the conditions in our locations, and the work is definitely paying off! For over 2 years we have planted over 10,000 corals with a mortality rate of less than 1%!
Where are our graduates now?
Indo Ocean Project prides themselves on being a career stepping stone for future dive and marine industry professions. In case you were wondering how this conservation divemaster internship could benefit your future career, we wanted to mention just a few awesome positions that our interns landed after graduating with us!
- Hannah Moloney – The Manta Trust Project Manager, Maldives
- Vicky Fong – Marine Megafauna Foundation Research Assistant
- Rosie Bancroft – Girls That Scuba Ambassador, 2021
- Charlotte Gill – Marine Ranger, Cornwall Sea Research Trust, UK
- Bestari Ghea Dwilo – Co-ordinator Thresher Shark Project, Indonesia
Check out their success stories here!
Ready to join our divemaster internship?
This overview covers only a few bits of what our conservation internship contains. Be sure that there will be even more exciting and practical activities, like our CoralWatch program, coral mapping, contributing to graduate and postgraduate studies research and taking care of our mangrove nursery!
We wanted to create this program for everyone who wanted to actively contribute to ocean conservation, learn and understand this field of work, and hopefully become ocean ambassadors!
Want to join the team?
We are accepting applications for 2022 and beyond for our research diver and divemaster internship program. Apply online today!