Firstly I am proud to announce the launch of the second Indo Ocean Project location in Bunaken, North Sulawesi. Tireless work by our founder Lauren Sparks has secured this second location and the project will be operational from June, 2019 with spaces already filling more quickly than we could have ever imagined. Our lead marine biologist Pascal Sebastian will be headed there to direct operations and we will be growing our ocean science initiatives across Indonesia. 

Since the last update an additional 11 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; Sofia, Sara, Federica, Gloria, Vera, Cindy, Nathan, Nishal, Jeanine, Katie and Lauren! That’s a total of 33 Divemasters certified at the Nusa Penida Headquarters. 

Additionally Cindy Walther has left Penida in search of Raja Ampat waters and will be shortly announcing a spectacular new career change in some very special Indonesian waters. Equally Vera, Jeanine, Sofia, Sara, Federica and Gloria have all left the project to continue on with postgraduate research and we cannot wait to see what they uncover that will help preserve the underwater world for future generations.  

We are proud to announce the inclusion of two brand new specialties that will broaden our graduates knowledge even further. They are Sea Turtle Ecology and Coral Reef Identification and they have been received with open arms by our latest conservation divemaster interns.

Since the last update 38 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 Turtle ID Project has moved from strength to strength with a partnership with Koh Tao Turtles and the amazing scientist Rahul Mehrotra from New Heaven Marine Conservation Program, alongside the existing partnership with Dr. Liz Jinata of Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre – YKK Nusa Penida. We hope this collaborative partnership will help drive the data collection for Turtles, starting with Koh Tao and Nusa Penida but hopefully spreading out across Indonesia. Our lead scientist Pascal Sebastian will provide all the numbers and discoveries in his bimonthly.

This year has been off to a flying start and as usual I cannot express enough thanks to all those that have taken part, helped and excelled in this fantastic project, I am so proud to be a part of this.



We have successfully launched our latest scientific project: Coral Mapping and Biodiversity Project. We aim to produce a high resolution map and inventory on the overall biodiversity, starting from Nomads’ house reef (Dan’s Reef). 

This data set will provide a detailed picture of the local biodiversity and will set the base for future research both at Indo Ocean Project and within the community at large. We have covered 51% of the plots and have identified 14 benthic coral genuses, 3 sponges and 33 species of reef fish.

We want to thank our research interns; Nathan, Jeanine, Lauren and Evan who were the first group to launch this new project. It has been a great success and you should all be proud of your legacy here at Indo Ocean Project.

More Roving Survey Dives have been conducted around Nusa Penida water. To date, 169 surveys has been successfully logged including the first survey in Malibu Point. We have officaly been collecting survey data for 1 year in the Nusa Penida MPA and are starting the initial analysis of the data to see the projection of our indicator species in a year. We expect to see the result in incoming month.

We have grown our Unite Penida data from 522 encounters to 881 encounters in the past two months. It implies a positive sighting frequency of sharks, rays and turtles population around Nusa Penida.

We have produced 27 BRUV to date, with considerable interesting result such as the appearance of our first green turtle (Chelonia mydas), spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), and marbled stingray (Taeniura meyeni). Eels seem to be the most common species found on the BRUV. Two of the site were recorded for the first time in Secret Manta and Dan’s Reef. We have dropped our deepest BRUV in February to 26.6m.

We are moving forward on our Coral Restoration project. After the completion of our biodiversity mapping project at Dan’s Reef we will be installing our first coral nursery structure. And start cultivating coral fragments for transplanting.



Since January we have organised a transfer and welcomed 11 Divemaster Interns to the project. I made sure that the journey to Penida is smooth and that they feel welcome and comfortable in their new home away from home.

For the same number of people we have carried out the following workshops: Mangroves, Aquatic cleaning station, assisting certified divers, Boat briefing & De-briefing and Dive site briefing, which our interns receive withing the first few weeks of their training.

Interns have also complete their refresher course, check out dive, guiding check points, and SMB deployments training from me. And will always get feedback after dives to polish their dive professional behaviour.


In February we have launched our partnership with the Bamboo project, so far 16 travellers and 3 tour guides have visited us here at the Penida Project. We are getting positive feedback from the awareness, workshops, and various activites. We keep them busy!

Average age of the group was 60 and their hard work an dedication while on program was extremely valuable to the project’s development and opperation. They were not afraid to get their hands dirty while planting mangroves in sticky smelly mud. Everyone involved in the afternoon planting expedition embrassed the task and mub with a young heart. After planting we decided to get muddy facials and some of them couldn’t escape the mud fight. Everyone did a great job and had lots of fun. We are looking forward to monthly mangrove expeditions.

The ‘Bambooers’ receied 5 introductory workshops during their 4 days with us including; manta conservation, coral restoration and ecology, mangrove restoration, turtle ecology with turtle Dr. Liz and plastic pollution with Save The Plastics foundation.

  • During the first 2 Bamboo programs we completed many activities:Building of 2 new mangrove nurseries
  • 4 snorkeling trips
  • 2 beach clean ups (468 kg/40% of the total trash collected)
  • 2 cooking classes
  • 4 beach BBQ evenings
  • 2 half day turtle experiences at the YKK Turtle Hospital
  • 1 mangrove planting expedition to Nusa Lembongan


We have built up a positive relationship with our local marine park and getting support withing the community from government officials to heads of villages. We have successfully planted 81 Rizhophora next to the temple in Lembongan. Overall we have planted 420 propogules from 3 different spices; RhizophoraBrugeria and Cerips Tagal. We have had a loss of 53 loss since September due to environmental conditions, or damaged seedlings.

Thanks to the beautiful work of one of our alumni interns, Simone, we have printed beautiful mangrove infromation posters that enables the public to have a general understanding of what we do and why.

We have 2 nursery and have tripled our propogule capacity. The prototype nursery located at Nomads Diving has doubled in size and a second nursery can be found at our friends at FreeDive Nusa which currently has 92 Rizhophoraseedlings. We are in discussion witht a third nursery location currently with the hope that more local busineses will want to get involved.


We have taken part in 3 Trash Hero events although rainy season has limited this action. Trash Hero’s Nusa Penida hosts weekly beach clean ups every Monday somehwere in Nusa Penida and everyone is encouraged to join.

February 16th was the Bali’s Biggest Beach Clean Up hosted by One Island One Voice. All across Bali groups were organized to preforma a massive clean up and pollution assessment with data pouring in from around the island. Nusa Penida rose to the challenge lead by our local marine park and police officials. Indo Ocean Project, Save The Plastic Foundation, and Nomads Diving came together to make the trekk to Tembeling Beach to clean up a remote area which ocean currents often bring in marine debrs.  

Here is some data from our recent marine debris assessment as of January 15th 2019 with Save The Plastics Foundation:

  • Number of beach clean ups: 12
  • Total kg collected: 1,152.60kg
  • Total kg per person collected: 11kg
  • Ropes contribute to 53% of overall trash collection
  • Time spent: 20h20min
  • Number of people involved: 105
  • Total pieces collected: 12,776