I just finished reading the technical report of the Gili Shark Conservation Project and I’m so incredible proud of the things we’ve archived in 2018. We spent on average 2 hours day underwater every day and collected an extensive volume of underwater data.

〰️ We dropped and viewed closed to 70 Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUV) to estimate and compare the relative abundance of sharks inside and outside marine protected areas.

〰️ We found two dead sharks and brought them back to Villa Nangka for further study (this was the first time in my life there was a dead shark lying on my kitchen table).

〰️ We did more than 250 survey dives to identify indicator species and to assess the health of the reefs around the Gilis.

〰️ We identified and named more than 170 turtles and 11 white tip sharks around the Gili Islands. Let’s make sure we coexist with them and respect their environment!

〰️ We wrote a report about the impact of the earthquake on the reef and published two scientific papers.

〰️ We removed more than 1239 pieces / 86 kg of rubbish from our adopted dive site Meno Slope.

〰️ We were invited to the Our Oceans Conference in Bali.

〰️ We collaborated with ZMT (Centre of Tropical Marine Research in Germany) on a social-ecological system analysis examining scuba dive tourism on the Gili Islands.

〰️ Inspired on the amazing documentary ‘Chasing Corals’ we started our own underwater time-lapse project.

〰️ And we did weekly conservation classes where we’ve taught the kids about plastics, marine life, and how to make a difference! Our Club Harapan at the local primary school has now 97 members!

Why I became a shark advocate

If you would have told me 10 years ago I would become a shark advocate and set up a conservation project on a tropical island I would have never ever believed you. When we started our project I didn’t had the knowledge neither did I have the experience. All we had was an intention, a lot of energy and the desire to be part of the solution. I didn’t want to stand on the sideline anymore and watch how other people try to solve a problem which we are all responsible for.

Think about it. We know more about the surface of our moon than we know about our oceans. In a world where everything is overshared, overexposed, and overused, the ocean is our last frontier, where fascinating new discoveries are happening every day.

Its my dream to take my children diving one day but I’m scared there will be nothing to see for them anymore.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.Plastic is ubiquitous in modern society and seemingly unavoidable. But is it worth risking the lives of marine species, the health of the oceans and our own future in the name of convenience? Did you ever try to picture yourself swimming between tons of plastic? Or imagined an ocean without any fish?
Its my dream to take my children diving one day but I’m scared there will be nothing to see for them anymore.

We are all in this together and – now more than ever – is the time to act and become part of the solution. Don’t know where to start? Start small and make the pledge to not use single use plastic for the whole of 2019.

Love Rose

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