Alor – In addition to successfully organizing advanced diving training this year, Thresher Shark Indonesia also provided an opportunity for three selected youths from Alor to participate in marine biology training. They are Deven Malihing (M, 21), Yuliana Feby Maubuty (F, 20), and Esau Yakob Karmakani (F, 25), who are part of the Thresher Shark Conservation Champion 2 program. Through a series of materials and hands-on field experiences, participants were invited to comprehend marine biology from a scientific perspective.
Taught by Rizki Erdana, who has a background in marine science and several research experiences in coral reefs, seagrasses, and fish, the training delved into understanding seagrass and coral reef data collection. This step was taken to equip participants with a deeper understanding of the underwater ecosystem and how the collected data contributes.
The marine biology training consists of six intensive sessions, comprising two main components: theory and field sessions. The theory sessions provide participants with material on coral reef data collection, focusing on three methods: Point Intercept Transect (PIT), Line Intercept Transect (LIT), and Underwater Photographic Transect (UPT). Additionally, for seagrass data collection, participants are equipped with material related to the LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences) method. Through a series of informative theory sessions, participants are then directed to apply their knowledge by collecting coral reef and seagrass data in the field, becoming actively engaged researchers in exploring marine life.
In this training, participants are equipped with the skills for coral reef and seagrass data collection and instructed in the data processing procedures. They receive in-depth guidance on processing the coral data they have previously collected, operating the Coral Point Count with Excel extensions (CPCe) application. Consequently, participants become skilled researchers in field data collection and adept at analyzing and processing the information they obtain. This knowledge forms the basis for shaping science-based policies in marine conservation.
“This opportunity enhances diving and marine-based research skills and opens doors for them to engage in the diving and research industry in the Alor Islands Marine Park. As champions, they are expected to inspire future generations in the efforts to preserve and protect marine ecosystems,” expressed Program Coordinator, Vivekananda Gitandjali.
Through initiatives like advanced diving and marine biology training, Thresher Shark Indonesia creates brilliant diving and marine science experts and fosters awareness of the importance of maintaining marine ecosystem sustainability. The participants are envisioned to be pioneers in marine conservation efforts, inspiring other native Alor youths to join in protecting the extraordinary and valuable underwater life.
The Advanced Diving Certification and Marine Biology Training Program for Alor youths within the Thresher Shark Conservation Champion 2 initiative is one of Thresher Shark Indonesia’s programs. This program is initiated to support the capacity-building of Alor’s youth in marine conservation. It receives support from the McPike-Zima Foundation, focusing on financing local organizations to bring about change in their respective communities.