Plastic is one of the many environmental issues that is quite evident in the area surrounding SORCE because of the lack of waste management infrastructure. One of our interns Elin Thompson has recently started her project studying macroplastics found on the beach and in the water diving off the beach. Elin has designed her project to compare plastics from the same location, but on and off-shore by doing beach cleans and debris dives. Below follows excerpts from an interview with her to learn a bit more about her project and its motivations. Continue reading “Plastic Patrol with Elin Thompson”
This Week’s Dives in Review
There are some beautiful and thriving reefs here near SORCE, but there are also reefs that have been damaged by storms, bleaching, and fish bombing. These reefs are damaged, but restoration efforts have the potential to help them recover.
Along our House Reef, we have three coral trees that we have built in a bid to do just that. Each of the trees is located in a different place along our House Reef. These trees are spread out to experience different environmental conditions – for example, one is close to the river input from land, so gets more silt input, while another experiences strong current. Continue reading “Coral Trees”
Today we checked in on some of our mangrove seedlings! We have been starting to map and monitor naturally recruiting mangrove seedlings so that we can see where they are successfully growing, and where mangrove planting might be useful. Over the last month or so, volunteers and interns have been spearheading the project with Naoise, our resident school-teacher, and have tagged and taken initial measurements for just over 80 trees. We have measured height of the seedlings, circumference at the base and the number of leaves that each tree has. Today marks the first time we have re-measured to check in on our seedlings, and will help us decide how often we should be re-measuring.
The legend of the Beautiful Princess Mandalika
There once was a princess who was renowned for her beauty throughout the land. Her beauty was beloved by many princes who sought her hand in marriage. The princes brought war to each other in order to win her for themselves. Seeing the atrocities committed, the princess was distraught and only wanted to bring back peace to the land. In order to end this unrest, Princess Mandalika flung herself off a cliff into the sea. When her people tried to recover her body, they found only thousands and thousands of worms. Known today as Nyale (sea worms).
This legend has given birth to The Bau Nyale Festival. Which means “catching sea worms” in the local dialect of Lombok – Sasak. The festival occurs every year in February according to the Sasak calendar on the tenth month close to the full moon. Thousands of people congregate along the coast line of Kuta Village in Central Lombok, Indonesia, mainly Segar Beach to catch the worms. Armed with nets, pans and anything else that can be used to catch them or dig them up out of the sand.
It is the belief of the local people that the Nyale are the reincarnation of Princess Mandilika. They revere them as sacred creatures that bring you fertility and prosperity to those who partake in the festival and eat them.
At SORCE we were very lucky to take part in this festival with some new found friends.
Next Year we hope you come and join in on the fun!
Plastic, Plastic, Everywhere!!
There’s plenty of more fish in the sea right? You know what else there is?? RUBBISH.
Visiting Lombok this past week to meet with local universities and partnering organisations for our upcoming conservation spectacular: SORCE, it would be rude not to have a quick dive or two… or three. Initially it appeared that each and every one of the marine variety was out to greet us; Sharks, turtles, Eagle rays, pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, robust pipefish, cuttlefish, hairy octopus, to name just a few, but this is simply the everyday of the stunning underwater world that graces the shores of this Southern Indonesian island. The abundance of life made it difficult to believe, on the outset, that Indonesia is the world’s second biggest plastic polluter. But then I began to notice the occasional diaper lying on the seabed; the plastic bottles nestling amongst the corals. Though not necessarily as shocking as images of the Citarum river in West Java or the recently captured underwater plastic storm in Bali, witnessing a thriving ecosystem in what seems to be the early stages of a plastic invasion, seems an ominous threat of what is to come and of what we have to lose if we don’t act.