define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false);// This setting was defined by WordPress Toolkit to prevent WordPress auto-updates. Do not change it to avoid conflicts with the WordPress Toolkit auto-updates feature. About the Salang Menagerie

About the Salang Menagerie

The idea for this little project was born from the realization that much more could be done to protect our marine environment that we divers care so much for. Sure, there are other programs and projects out there, but what about doing something close to home? What if there was a project that divers could take part in directly, learning something about the marine environment, while doing some good in the process. Being GUE divers, a project like this would definitely also put to use and really solidify the skills that we learnt in the Fundamentals course.

The original idea was to build an artificial reef, back in 2010. Being divers and not scientists, there was a lot of research to do, and the first step was really to learn more about the marine environment. Luckily an opportunity arose in the form of the 7th Biorock Workshop, held in Gili Trawangan in November 2010. It was a great opportunity to meet a lot of people who were as passionate about the marine environment, and to learn about the Biorock Process, which is the only reef restoration technique known that actively produces reef building materials, including Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), a naturally occurring substrate that nearly all coral species prefer for settlement and growth.

Fast forward another 2 years of planning, research and preparation work, and finally, in mid 2012, we laid down a perimeter line that demarcates a little patch of reef just off Dive Asia on Salang Beach in Tioman. We chose this spot, because that’s sort of our home base, travelling there almost every other weekend from March to October, conducting GUE and PADI courses there. It made sense to do this project where we would be diving anyway, and most of us were already pretty familiar with the reef there.

However, the goal was to really get to know this patch of reef in a lot more detail. Detail that will serve as a growing database that can serve as a baseline study, and so that we can identify changes to the reef and resident marine life over time.

Once we have enough observations to form a baseline, we will put down a permanent Biorock structure within the perimeter. Once the structure is down, we can continue to monitor the changes in the reef, and hopefully determine whether the Biorock Process can enrich the surrounding reef, and by how much.

There is lots more to do in the project still, and we’re in the early phases of something we hope will last and grow beyond Living Seas. At the end, we just want to know more about the reef that we dive every week, and make it just that bit better for future generations to enjoy.

 

Project Baseline

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We’ve also volunteered to put our project and data on the Project Baseline Google Earth layer, in order to share our project goals and observations with other passionate people around the world.

Project Baseline is a grassroots, environmental conservation initiative. It exists to support people who are invested in water quality and availability by providing a platform that gives voice to otherwise under- or undocumented aquatic areas.

Being Singapore’s only GUE Dive Centre, we’re proud to be able to contribute to GUE’s broad goals of conservation and research work.

 

Setting up the Perimeter

It was a lot of hard work getting the perimeter line set up, here’s a little video of how we set up the perimeter line back in May 2012.

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