Planted Acropora corals in the nursery
You will be working to help TRACC protect and repair reefs and reef ecosystems in a variety of ways. Our two locations have different problems and we have a range of projects, The Tip of Borneo has some great coral reefs and is in the process of being made into a marine park. However it is too difficult for the government to tackle all the management issues so TRACC is helping to document the biodiversity and recommend areas for increased conservation. We also plant coral on areas which have been damaged as well as work with the local community. This is the scope of work which we are trying to tackle.
On Pom Pom island the reefs have been smashed by blast fishing in the past, the presence of resorts and TRACC has reduced the damage in the last few years. TRACC volunteers repair the reef by carrying out soft and hard coral planting. The reef environment varies and different techniques are used to determine how best to stabilize the reef depending on the slope, current and depth. A wide range of species are planted to create a diverse reef and while coral grows slowly; growth and survival of individuals can be clearly seen, monitored and measured in a typical month.
After initial training, volunteers work in small groups on daily and weekly projects as well as creating their own masterpiece reef. Lots of the corals are initially planted in tanks on land so non divers will also be busy.
Check out why reef restoration is needed or the blog for more on coral planting – or – Our vols blog
Rabbit fish on an artificial reef
You will also be working to help increase the number of fish in the area. This will be done through fish aggregating devices such as recycled water bottles, netlon, canvas and treated concrete structures. As well as creating these devices, you will also be installing and monitoring them underwater. As the fish are attracted to elements underwater that they can hide behind, you will be working to find the best solution in the area and to help implement the underwater planting of these devices.
Green turtle filling in nest after laying
Alongside your daily dive work, if you are volunteering between May to September you will also be carrying out nightly beach patrols to check for nesting turtles and hatchings. It takes around 40 minutes to circle the island and you will be on rotation with the other volunteers every evening to help dissuade poachers from stealing the eggs or hatchlings.
Green Turtle hatchling
This is the ideal place to build dive skills as well as fish and coral identification techniques. Most days have one or more boat dives, 3 dives per day is normal and night dives are frequent. The water is usually crystal clear and due to the strong currents at some of the dive sites many large pelagics are attracted including grey reef sharks, eagle rays and manta rays! If you’re very lucky, you may also see the awe-inspiring whale shark (the best time is between April-June).
Planting coral fragments into prepared blocks
On diving days (Tues-Sat) Vols are busy with fish & coral ID, photo & video editing, preparation of reef restoration materials, writing or constructing your own coral and fish palace. Sunday is usually leisure dive and a party in the evening. Monday is a day off when we go to town, or do our own thing.
To make a booking please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Project overview – Summary– Pom Pom Location map — Other information
Why – Where -What – When – Who – Costs
Other Information – FAQ – Our vols blog
Download volunteer brochure (PDF)
Arrival info pack ( volunteers arrival information 2014 – pdf)