Green Turtles are very common in the water around Pom Pom. You will help protect the eggs and adults.
Pom Pom Island and nearby reefs are a superb dive location – there are several world class resorts on Pom Pom island and nearby Mataking island. The underwater visibility is usually superb and there are abundant green and hawksbill turtles, The biodiversity is incredible with more species than almost anywhere else in the world. There are great reefs with fantastic coral, underwater cliffs and walls with schools of big fish. Dolphins, whale sharks, mantas and eagle rays are rare but have all been seen. The best diving is at 20m or more which is only allowed for Advanced divers.
The reefs where we work have been badly damaged but the progress we have made is amazing, We have planted over 20,000 corals and the fish life has increased on our planted reefs by over 500%. Our coral reef conservation volunteers typically visit several islands or reefs and do half work dives and half pleasure dives.
We have projects at two beach locations in Sabah, Malaysia. We teach SCUBA diving at the Coconut cove camp @ Tip of Borneo.
Choose from all our projects = project summary 2015 for volunteers. OR Download volunteer brochure 2014 (PDF)
For cost options and to book now read Booking a trip
Pom Pom island diving conservation project – Aims & Objectives
- The ultimate aim is a protected reef that can support a reef shark population. (learn more)
- To protect sharks, the ecosystem needs repair. This protected reef has been bombed in the past and no longer has enough fish to feed a shark population. (learn more)
- If corals are planted on the damaged areas, there will be more shelter for juvenile fish and eventually better corals with a diverse fish population. ( Volunteers & coral planting activities)
- The island has a large non resident pelagic fish population, if these can be encouraged to stay, there will be more food for the sharks. (learn more)
- The island is an important turtle nesting area and adults and hatchlings will benefit from more protection and less poaching with a conservation project on the island. (More about turtle volunteer programme here)
Find out why this is a rewarding experience or read what our prevous volunteers have said about their experience – Our recent activities are on Facebook so click here for what we are doing now, We also have projects student researchers completed.
Coral reef conservation volunteer options – our diving project is protecting and rebuilding reefs otherwise our Short conservation visits are designed for qualified divers who have limited time. Turtle Project (snorkellers only) is for people who don’t want to dive.
Download pom pom volunteer brochure 2015 (PDF)
A 2 month old planted coral fragment. Originally collected from a bomb crater, the remaining fragment was planted in non toxic cement and is now healthy and growing.
Pom Pom Island Diving Project Facts
• Duration: 2 to 12 weeks (Advanced divers only, dive training is done at our Coconut cove Tip of Borneo Camp. )
• Cost: from £266 per week but many different options depending on duration, courses or dive qualifications
Trainee divers, 2 location trip 4 + 2 trip (4 weeks with 2 dive courses & science training at our Tip Of Borneo camp, plus 2 weeks on Pom Pom island) (other combinations 4 + 4 weeks, 4 + 6 weeks, etc trips are also possible for divers who participate in Offshore reef & shark surveys or Diving with Cuttlefish and Sharks trips.) For cost options read Booking a trip
• 10% discount for groups of 6 or more. .
• Requirements: Suitable for advanced divers, Age 17+, or children with guardians; non divers welcome to our turtle snorkel project,
Club, school or university groups (unqualified divers or groups learn at our Coconut cove camp @ Tip of Borneo, before joining the Pom Pom island expedition) (one week expeditions are possible for groups of qualified divers).
• Location: Pom Pom island, & Kalapuan island Sabah, Borneo Map of location
• Project Activities: Coral reef conservation through proactive reef rebuilding, construction and coral planting, monitoring of turtle nesting, turtle tagging, sharks, rays, reef fish & invertebrate surveys. (Photos Here) (Program outline here) (biodiversity surveys here) (rare and exotic creatures here)
• Diving & snorkelling: Unlimited, normally 2 boat dives or the reef is a few metres from the beach for walk in dives.
• Water conditions: Fantastic visibility (20-30+m, warm water 27-29°C, no storm or monsoon season
(weather here) (Photos of volunteers in action)
• Working Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8 hours per day (we dive or protect turtles every day). Sat & Sun are generally pleasure dives. Monday is transfer/shopping day
• Project Availability: Boat leaves Semporna Mon afternoon. We recommend the 10am flight to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu to meet our transport which leaves Tawau airport about 2pm and goes direct to the boat. (travel instructions here)
• Accommodation: Your own tent with fan, lights & electricity (camp photos here) on an almost deserted beach. Couples get 2 tents. Bedding, Pillows, Towels are provided and changed regularly. (Photos Here)
• Food: 3 meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks & drinks (we can cater to vegetarians and others)
• Airport pick up and drop off, (Tawau airport about lunchtime on Mondays) (travel instructions here)
• Training: Orientation and project induction provided,
• Coral planting training plus coral and fish identification, PADI and scientfic diving courses are taught at our Coconut cove camp. (discounts or other courses for qualified divers)
• Support: 24 hour support, Safety & Medical
• Communications: Good phone signal on Island, Regular phone or internet contact with friends or family. No free Wifi
• University or college projects for individual students are designed and supported for 4+ week stays (rescue qualified diver) or 8+ week stays (diving qualification completed with TRACC). Please see our list of suggested projects and discuss them with us and your supervisor.
• Excursion Planning: Staff can help organise extra dive courses and additional land or water excursions
• Transport to Pom Pom Island from Semporna or Tawau ( return trip)
• All dive equipment (except: watch/computer, mask, snorkel, fins, skins/rash vest/ stinger suit/ wetsuit)
What’s Not Included
• Flights to Kota Kinabalu or Tawau (Air Asia or Firefly or Malindo are cheap local airlines, Royal Brunei is often the cheapest International carrier)
• Insurance (recommend DAN trip insurance)
• Visas (Malaysia gives 90 days free entry visa on arrival for most countries)
• Water & sand proof watch, ( casio digital or similar)
• Dive skins & snorkel gear – volunteers need to bring their own. Bring fins suitable for water shoes or dive boots since you may need to walk on coral rubble. (walking with bare feet on a coral reef is NOT recommended!
Some snorkell equipment can be hired
• Underwater or land cameras (computers are available to download photos and burn to disc.)
• Alcohol, snacks, nibbles, personal items, (all available in town)
• We recommend Crocs (real or copies) as beach shoes – much cheaper than dive boots in your fins :-).
Are you ready for the pressure of all the serious conservation work!
Read reviews about TRACC on tripadvisor or Travelbuddy
Project overview – Summary– Pom Pom Location map — Other information
Why – Where -What – When – Who – Costs
Other Information – FAQ
Facebook – Our shark protection activity – Volunteers & coral planting –
To book now please read Booking a trip & email .firstname.lastname@example.org