Freediving and coral reef rehabilitation: greater community outreach, increased sustainability.

Rehabilitating coral reefs via scuba diving is a viable option, but it is not the only one. As such, we at Ocean Quest Global have been working towards including freediving, so that the members of the local communities can be fully involved in the process as well.

Coral reefs are traditionally monitored and rehabilitated by those with the financial capacity to do so (the costs of scuba certification and equipment amounts to several months of average income in many countries across the world.). Such efforts also tend to be occasionally inhibited by the operational issues presented by scuba diving equipment, particularly in remote or non-tourist areas.

The importance of healthy coral reefs to their surrounding communities cannot be understated, they not only provide them with food and revenue (through fisheries and tourism), but also stave off coastal erosion, thereby safeguarding land property from damage and reducing the risk of population displacement.

We are acting to make the processes of coral reef protection and rehabilitation more welcoming of the local communities, many of whose members have a long tradition of breath-hold diving activities.

Where is this campaign happening?

At the moment (March 2020*) it has started in the following areas

  • Batangas, Philippines
  • Bohol, Philippines
  • Cebu, Philippines
  • La Union, Philippines
  • Koh Lipe, Thailand
  • Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Le, Thailand
  • Komodo National Park, Indonesia

*Our campaign is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 situation.

Who are the partners of this campaign?

Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organization that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife, and conserve and protect the world’s oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction.

Bluenery is a sustainable clothing brand born with the spirit of adventure, freedom and respect for nature, worn by the ocean lovers.

Apnea Green is a non-profit environmental organization that acts to protect marine resources and to benefit local communities in the Philippines. They provide free training to locals in the province of Bohol.

Kaguya is an innovative equipment manufacturer for freediving that uses bamboo material in an effort to reduce plastic pollution.

We of the Sea is an American nonprofit organization. Its mission is to use diving education and artistic initiatives to increase personal involvement in ocean conservation projects worldwide.

I am a member of a local community living close to endangered coral reefs; how can we benefit from this campaign?

Members of local communities are, depending on their financial situation, entitled to receiving our training with a full scholarship. Our objective is to turn a few individuals from each participating community into trainers in reef protection and rehabilitation, in order for them to share their knowledge and skills with their peers once they go back to their local area.

I am not a member of a local community but I wish to take part in this campaign; how can I help?

Individuals with no prior experience in freediving who wish to volunteer at our rehabilitation sites will have to become certified freedivers beforehand, for safety reasons.

Experienced freedivers can take part in this campaign by following our 3-day “coral rehabilitation course” provided they have their open water certification in scuba diving. Coral rehabilitation courses in freediving are currently only available in Bohol, Philippines. Once certified, students will be able to volunteer at our rehabilitation sites.

Freedive instructors who have as a project to primarily work with local communities can join our campaign by applying to our trainer course in Bohol, Philippines, or by following our trainer course elsewhere in scuba diving, provided they are scuba instructors as well. For the trainer course in freediving, a motivation letter containing their background with regards to environmental and/or social projects, as well as a brief summary of the activities they intend to lead will be required.

How can I reach to you?

By sending us an email at locals@oceanquest.global