December 11, 2023

Exciting Advanced Diving Training for Alor’s Youth

Alor – In the current year, Thresher Shark Indonesia once again organized advanced diving and marine biology training for three young individuals from Alor: Deven Malihing (M, 21), Yuliana Feby Maubuty (F, 20), and Esau Yakob Karmakani (M, 25), participants in the Thresher Shark Conservation Champion 2 program. This training focuses on improving diving skills and imparts knowledge on collecting data on seagrasses and coral reefs. This step is taken to equip participants with a deeper understanding of the marine ecosystem and how the collected data contributes to conservation efforts. 

These three Alor youth were selected to undergo advanced diving and marine biology training.

Alor is a conservation area with 74 fantastic dive spots, home to various protected exotic marine species such as thresher sharks, dugongs, sea turtles, marine mammals, hammerhead sharks, and sunfish. Additionally, Alor’s conservation area falls within the coral triangle–the world’s diverse marine ecosystem that attracts divers desiring the beauty of the underwater world.

However, the Thresher Shark Indonesia team feels there is still a need for local individuals with diving skills and participation in conservation endeavors, especially as researchers involved in monitoring and data collection. These efforts are crucial sources of information for reviewing the sustainability of the marine environment and ensuring that Alor remains a captivating diving destination for future generations.

“Thresher Shark Indonesia, a marine conservation organization, responds to this challenge by organizing specialized training. This training aims to enhance the diving skills of the selected three Alor youth and provide them with the tools to pursue careers in the diving industry and participate in marine-based research,” expressed Program Coordinator Vivekananda Gitandjali. 

Advanced Diving Training Journey: Exploring the Depths of Alor’s Seas

In 2022, three youths from Alor completed their first-level certification as Open Water Divers, unlocking the door to explore the beauty of the Alor Sea. Recognizing the importance of continually honing their skills, Thresher Shark Indonesia organized an advanced diving training program to broaden horizons and deepen participants’ understanding of the underwater world. 

Following a guide rope, participants practiced buoyancy (floating in the water column).

This advanced training consists of six intensive sessions over one month, incorporating three main components: pool, theory, and practical sessions. These seek to accumulate more diving hours or log entries for participants. The pool sessions, conducted three times, focus on refining participants’ basic diving skills in a controlled environment. These sessions are complemented by three theory sessions on advanced diving, covering required topics such as navigation in the sea, recreational diving, night diving, diving in currents, and a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems. 

Feby participating in an advanced diving theory session.

After completing these initial sessions, participants apply the theories and materials learned in five open ocean dives. Each dive is guided by experienced instructors from Air Dive Alor, who had previously trained them during the Open Water certification.

“I hope the people of Alor can dive, enjoy, and preserve the beauty of their own underwater home. Additionally, I want to broaden the perspective that being a diver can be a profession they pursue,” said Maulana Nurhadi, the SDI (Scuba Diving International) Dive Instructor from Air Dive Alor.

Maulana Nurhadi conducting a dive brief for participants.

The inspiring journey of three Alor youths – Deven, Feby, and Esau – in advanced diving and marine biology training with Thresher Shark Indonesia is inspiring. Through this narrative, it is hoped that more Alor youths will be motivated to love and engage in preserving marine ecosystems, keeping Alor a stunning diving destination and a sustainable legacy for future generations.

The Advanced Diving Certification Program for Alor youths, part of the Thresher Shark Conservation Champion 2 initiative, is one of the programs by Thresher Shark Indonesia. This program is designed to support the capacity-building of Alor’s youth in marine conservation. The program receives support from the McPike-Zima Foundation, focusing on financing local organizations to bring about change in their respective communities.

Authors: Badra/Vivekananda/Rafid