Indo Ocean Project Bira
Conserving the marine environment through research and education
- Complete your Divemaster course in a remote paradise at the heart of the coral triangle, the most biodiverse oceans on the planet
- Gain hands on experience in multiple underwater research methods while working alongside a team of international marine biologists and dive professionals
- Shark conservation and ecological monitoring with coral rehabilitation
Bira is located on a peninsula in South Sulawesi around 200km from Makassar and is home to one of Indonesia’s most stunning beaches and untouched reefs. Far away from the hustle and bustle of cities, this sleepy ship building village has only just started to attract the traveller's eye.
Indo Ocean Project is a marine research and conservation program in the heart of the coral triangle, training the next generation of dive professionals through a conservation Divemaster internship program. Their field expeditions in Indonesia hosts international and local research projects on marine megafauna conservation, ecological monitoring, and marine park management. They are constantly seeking hardworking and enthusiastic people to take part in their research diver internship program.
You don’t need to be a diver or a scientist to take part! Indo Ocean Project relies on the experience and expertise of our volunteers from around the world.
About Indo Ocean Project Bira
Indonesia has been ranked the number one shark and ray fishing nation in the world for the past several decades. Sharks are targeted for their fins while large rays, such as the manta ray, are prized for their gill rakers. Both of these items have a high retail price in global Asian markets. With the rapid population decline of sharks and rays worldwide, now is the time for action. More data is needed on the life history traits, population dynamics, and abundance of these species and their prey. By standardizing data collection projects we can cross reference our target areas in Indonesia to have a better understanding of these endangered species and put forth management strategies to protect key areas such as cleaning stations, breeding zones, and nurseries.
Conserving Indonesia’s marine environment through research and education whilst training the highest quality dive professionals through our conservation divemaster internship program.
At Indo Ocean Project we envision a healthy and profitable marine ecosystem throughout Indonesia to benefit the growing tourism industry and help protect the livelihoods of local coastal communities for generations. With the help of our free open access data we contribute to local legislation to support the creation and maintenance of marine parks. The laws that are in place to protect our reefs are based on scientific truths and are respected and enforced. We see more fishing communities across South East Asia turn to eco-tourism business models and sustainable fishing practices. All local fishing practices adhere to international law. There will be an increase of mangrove populations along Indonesia’s vast coastline. Through our ‘Adopt a Mangrove’ program we are able to make all communities we are involved with carbon neutral.
Day in the life of an intern at the Bira Project
It's a busy life as an intern at Indo Ocean Project's Bira location with ever changing schedules. Be prepared to dive 6 days a week with an average of 8 dives exploring the reefs around Bira and the neighbouring islands. Projects include ecological monitoring, fisheries targeted and Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) surveys, coral rehabilitation and biodiversity mapping, shark and turtle population assessment using photographic identification and land based activities like marine debris assessments, permaculture, and elementary school education program. Throughout the program you can expect to take part in a number of workshops and activities from equipment specialist, shark ecology, and macro/nudibranchs. On top of all the research activities you will undergo an intensive Divemaster training program with workshops, assessments, and professional level training from award winning instructors.
Daily schedule will vary depending on program requirements and weather conditions but general working hours are from 8am - 5pm (with occasional sunrise or night dives) 5 days per week.
"One of the best projects I had the pleasure to be a part of! The dive sites at the Bira Project were some of the best I have seen and with little tourism activity. This project gave me the skills to be able to work in the dive industry and marine conservation and would highly recommend!" - Bella