For certified divers, the best way to get involved in Reef Check's conservation programmes is to join our survey trips. First you will need to enroll in an EcoDiver course, which trains you to do Reef Check surveys. You will then be able to participate in surveys (not just ours, but anywhere in the Indo-Pacific!!!) to collect the data we need to assess the health of coral reefs. The information from the surveys has very practical uses in identifying problems facing the reefs, and finding solutions. There are three elements to the EcoDiver course:
Doing a Reef Check survey dive is very different from doing a normal leisure dive. Survey diving requires not only a high level of concentration and discipline, but also requires the diver to have good dive skills, to avoid damaging the reef and to collect good data. Divers must be able to hover motionless and dive inverted (head down, feet up), while carrying a slate and recording data. These skills are not often used while leisure diving. We have developed some simple performance requirements that are used to assess divers.
The EcoDiver course can be done in three days. We arrange pool and academic sessions in Kuala Lumpur during the East coast monsoon season, and trips to the islands early in the year to complete the course. Alternatively, you can contact one of our Reef Check certified partner dive centres on the islands to directly book your course.
Contact us for more information.
You can also join a week-long EcoDiver expedition to Tioman Island, run by our partner non-profit organisation Biosphere Expeditions. The expedition includes training to EcoDiver level (or if you are already qualified, you can take part too). Working in a small group of fellow divers and volunteers, and based on a very comfortable and modern liveaboard yatch, you will assist the researcher from Reef Check Malaysia to study and protect the local Marine Park's beautiful but fragile coral reefs.
More information about the expedition is here.