Shark Conservation on the Gili Islands

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Gili Shark Conservation was set up in 2015 on the beautiful island of Gili Air in Indonesia with a mission to promote shark conservation efforts and increase the level of protection for the surrounding reefs through education and research. Four years on, the project and the passion-fueled team behind it, work to protect not just sharks, but all marine life in the area.

“The Gili Shark Conservation project is a small grassroots organization designed around conservation through citizen science research. We collect abundant data from the reefs within the Gili Matra Marine Recreational Reserve using different survey methods.” says Zara Ellis, Dive Operations Manager at Gili Shark Conservation.

One of the main objectives for the project is to have the marine reserve officially recognized as a shark nursery area and therefore a critical habitat for sharks. Collecting consistent data from the reef, the team can make an analysis of the health of the zones within the protected area, and by sharing this information with the local government, support better protection to the reserve which is home to Whitetip and Blacktip reef sharks as well as bony fish, rays and turtles to name a few.

Along with their shark work, Gili Shark Conservation are tackling plastic pollution at source with ‘Plastic Free Paradise’, encouraging the island’s community to reduce single-use plastic products. “We offer Plastic Free Paradise training to all businesses on the island to educate the local staff about the danger of plastic to our environment and offer them simple solutions and alternatives to using one-use plastic products.” Zara adds, “We also visit the school on Gili Air every Saturday morning to host a conservation class called “Club Harapan (Club Hope)” during which we educate the children about marine life and plastic and get them involved with conservation efforts.”

Source: sport diver

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