Logo Gili Shark Conservation

Gili Shark Conservation Project

About

We are an international marine research center that hosts researchers, scientists, and ocean lovers from all over the world. A place in the heart of our community where we provide education in solving oceans-related issues. A home to people that want to make the world a little bit more beautiful.

We educate, train, and empower local talent to become leaders of the Gili Island's growing tourism industry and guardians of its natural environment. And we provide scholarships to Indonesian women who want to pursue a career in marine conservation but don’t have the financial or emotional support to make it happen.

Every day our research team goes out to collect abundance data within the zones of the Gili Matra Marine Recreational Reserve to assess the health of the environment and act to enhance marine protection and health where necessary.

Founded
2015

Reviews

Aryssah
Aryssah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience with GASC

I really enjoyed my time volunteering with Gili Air Shark Conservation. Gili Air is a beautiful island with many restaurants, spas, and activities to explore. During the project, it was so special to be in the water twice a day, discovering the underwater world. I learned about all the different species of tropical fish, made friends with many sea turtles, and even saw a couple sharks up close! But more importantly - the facilities and the staff were amazing. Villa Nangka, where volunteers are set to stay, is a short bike ride to Oceans 5 dive shop, where volunteers work. Both were clean, with friendly staff and quality places to be partnered with. As mentioned, I was also truly touched by the staff. They made you feel right at home, comfortable and special, and as if you were part of the family instantly. I caught a bug while there, and the way they took care of me was nothing short of how my own mother would. I’m really lucky I found this project, and would highly recommend! It warmed my heart to be surrounded with likeminded people, making a difference for our planet’s oceans.

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Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gili Shark Conservation Review

My overall experience with Gili Shark Conservation was amazing. I've never done a program quite like this. I was quite nervous to join the team because I didn't know what quite to expect. I definitely didn't think that I would get to work with a group of people that were so fabulous. Not only did all of them make me feel welcome, but I learned so much about conservation and the Indo-Pacific area from them in general. I never expected that I would connect with a group of people so quickly before and I truly miss each one of them so much. Before I came to the program, I thought that I would only be a part of Gili Shark Conservation just this once. After my stay, I know that I definitely want to come back and work with the team again. Thank you so much for all the experience and memories Gili Shark!

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Cami
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best 6 weeks of my life

Joining the research team at Gili Shark Conservation for 6 weeks is the best decision I’ve made, and I am so grateful I had the privilege to work with Rose, Maisy, Musa, Katon, Cakra, and everyone else on the project. They are incredible mentors, whose love for the ocean and community is contagious. I always dreamed about being a marine biologist, but my experience went above and beyond what I could’ve imagined. I loved every second of it and find it inspiring how easily fun and conservation go hand-in-hand. Thank you for the adventure of a lifetime, and I hope to be back soon!

Pros
  • Incredible people
  • Ocean and wildlife adventures
  • Marine science and diving education
Cons
  • Hard to leave
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Svenja
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing 4-week stay with Gili Shark Conservation

I had the absolute best time staying on Gili Air and supporting the Gili Shark Conservation in their efforts to save the ocean, one day at a time. Thanks to the program I had the opportunity to live my childhood dream of being a marine biologist and add something meaningful to one of the best leisure activities: diving! The cooperation with Oceans5 dive center also worked seamlessly. All staff, guides/divemasters and instructors there are top notch! On top, everyone I met on the program was always super friendly, helpful and came with a positive mind, but especially Maisy, Musa and Katon made the experience a special one. Thank you and please stay exactly as you are! :)

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Dan
10/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Gili Shark Conservation

Honestly the best experience I’ve ever had in my life. I will cherish the memories I’ve made here forever. This programme restored my faith in humanity. Words can’t describe how amazing the people here and this place is. Ive enjoyed my time here so much I’ve already planned to come back next year to further my education and hopefully do my divemaster. All I can say is Thankyou to everyone whose made this experience unforgettable. I would highly recommend this course to anyone with a passion for the ocean. You will love it here.

Pros
  • People are amazing
  • Wildlife is awesome
  • Education is eye opening
Cons
  • I can’t stay longer

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favourite travel memory goes back to when I travelled to Bali for the first time. A friend of mine and I went to Nusa Penida, which is an island located 40 minutes away on the east side of Bali. We knew it was possible to see manta rays, so it was the main reason why we decided to go dive over there.

We dived 5 times across 3 days. The first day we went to dive on the north side of the island, meaning we would not see manta rays, as they hang out on the south. Still, the crystal clear water and the abundance of fish was amazing!

Then the second day arrived. Overexcited, we made our way to Manta Point on the South of Nusa Penida. As we backrolled in the water, I remember all my muscles stiffening and my skin shivering right away. So cold!! As I am used to diving around the Gili Islands, where the water temperature is around 28 degrees, at Manta Point the water temperature was 22 degrees! It did not matter, as we made our way to the cleaning station, I saw my first manta! I forgot about the temperature of the water immediately and was mesmerized by these amazing creatures.

In total, we saw 5 manta rays swimming above us, circling around the summit of the cleaning station. The feeling inside of me was pure joy. A little bit of craziness, mixed with a big adrenaline rush. I’ll never forget my first time diving with mantas and I can’t wait to see these amazing pelagics again.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I’ve changed in a few different ways since I started working with the Shark Team. First of all, I don't see the ocean as I used to. It's not only a place to dive and have fun; the ocean means way more to my eyes now. I’ve realized how important it is for all life on earth. I realized that the ocean is very vulnerable to our actions and that it is not indestructible. We need to respect the oceans and protect it any way we can. I am definitely more aware and try to do what I can to protect it.

I have changed many habits since living on Gili Air. The first one is my use of single-use plastic. I changed some things I used to do in my everyday life. Also, now I always try to pick up any garbage I see while diving. It's little gestures, but when you add them all together, a little becomes a lot!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It’s hard to choose only one. What is truly amazing is to watch a student or a diver returning from a dive where they saw sharks. One or many, swimming or resting, it doesn’t matter! The smile on their face and the excitement in their eyes is incredible. It makes you feel so happy and proud to do what you are doing. I love seeing this.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

If I could choose one it would be the IDC program. First of all, because it would be great to be able to share by teaching my passion for the ocean. Being an instructor is more than only teaching about diving techniques, skills and science: it’s is also an opportunity to communicate the importance of the ocean. Sharing methods and ways on how to protect our marine ecosystems and how each of us can make a difference.

Being surrounded by people with the same passions definitely makes that passion grows even bigger and so we can achieve greater things.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The biggest aspect that makes my company so unique is that, besides doing amazing conservation work for the ocean, they are also trying their best to work closely with the local community.

I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to mix different cultures, and even with the difficulties encountered at first, they pushed through because it was important for them to give back to the Gili Air community who have given them so much already.

With all their efforts, they’ve developed great relationships and they are now evolving many different projects with community reach. The Plastic-Free Paradise movement regroups four different projects that I believe will make a big difference for our island over time.

What makes me very proud is to witness the commitment of every single individual taking part in the Gili Shark Conservation project. Since it was created, it did really great things, even with a small team.

The impact the project has on the island since the beginning, and the evolving methods to study our oceans, our fish, our reefs, and the results coming out from it so far, this couldn't have happened without the dedication and commitment of everybody who has ever been involved in the project.

It makes me really proud to say that I am part of this team. And this couldn't have without the dedication and commitment of everybody who has ever been involved in the project.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

For me, it's definitely honesty. From the leaders of the project to the rest of the staff and all our volunteers, we are nothing but honest with each other. This makes an amazing difference on a day to day basis. Every day, I do not feel like I’m at work. I do it because I love it. I'm always happy at work and this has a lot to do with the fact that I love what I’m doing, but also because of the people whom I'm spending most of my days with. Honest relationships make things easy!