October 30, 2015

Buleleng Bali Dive Festival Promoting Conservation through Recreational Diving

Submitted by Reef Check Indonesia

Buleleng of North Bali held its 1st Buleleng Bali Dive Festival (BBDF) event in Pemuteran Bay on October 23 – 26, focusing on promoting diving tourism and various conservation activities in North Bali. Buleleng reserved its marine areas as Marine Management Areas in 2011.

In recent decades, diving tourism has become a popular recreational activity. Through diving, everyone is able to see the beauty of underwater life such as colorful coral, fish and other marine life. More recently, with the advancement of photography equipment, underwater life has become an interesting subject for photographers. Buleleng, in particular, has such magnificent underwater beauty from abundant coral reefs, nudibranchs, the unique sea-dragon, garden eels, the schooling of bumphead parrotfish, and many more.

Besides recreational diving, Buleleng is famous for its rapid conservation movement. Previously known as a cyanide fishing area, Buleleng has transformed itself into a leading district in marine conservation. For instance, a number of conservation programs have been awarded with various international and national awards for their efforts.

Thus, through the festival, divers got to be involved and learn more about the ongoing conservation programs in Buleleng. Several monitoring and education programs were conducted to support management of the Marine Management Area network, which is divided into three regions, including East Buleleng (Kec.Tejakula), Central Buleleng (Lovina and surrounding) and West Buleleng (Pemuteran Bay). Marine and Fisheries Agency of Buleleng facilitated the monitoring and opened activities to all divers who wanted to participate, providing extensive and valuable information for the further management of the marine areas.

Coral reef monitoring was conducted on October 23 & 24, accompanied by local guide divers from Reef Check Indonesia network communities, which provided training for divers on reef monitoring techniques. Over 40 Reef Checkers joined the monitoring, coming from various backgrounds such as students, dive guides, hobbyist divers, and local residents.

For more information on how to get involved with Reef Check Indonesia, visit http://reefcheck.or.id