In 1992, Adelaar sailed for the first time the adventurous waters of Indonesia, located in the so-called “Coral Triangle”. This geographic area is known to be home to an incredibly diverse underwater biodiversity.
76% of coral species and 37% of coral reef fish species live in these waters. This is why divers from all around the world added Indonesia to their bucket list. They’ll be lucky to dive with more than 2000 species of reef fish and six of the world’s seven marine turtle species! Exciting, don’t you think?
Now more than ever, divers from all places should take part in Marine Conservation. It is through the contribution of everyone that this biodiversity will thrive over time. It’s also every diver’s responsibility to preserve the ecosystem where they spend their free time!
It becomes challenging to mix environment care and economic growth. We live in a world hit by global warming, ocean acidification, plastic pollution, and over-fishing. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect marine life!
How does Adelaar liveaboard contribute to Marine Conservation on a local scale?
We believe that every action count. Adelaar has been committed for now 25 years to implement standards to conserve its beloved Indonesian archipelago.
Every year, Adelaar organizes special cruises dedicated to corals, manta rays, and whale sharks. Throughout these voyages, marine biologist shares his or her knowledge of one of these species.
Coral-reef special, Manta rays special or Whale sharks special, pick your favourite cruise!
Adelaar pays special attention to detail when it comes to picking the marine biologists invited to join the adventure. We believe that the most competent and passionate specialists have the power to make these trips unique.
All these inspiring special guests have a strong knowledge of particular species. Some of them are leaders of projects & ongoing studies aiming to preserve those species. Others have written a scientific thesis about how they behave and are threatened by human activities.
Some of our specialists are members of bigger organizations in charge of the protection of the listed-above species.
They are responsible for protecting these species while collecting information about them. During our special cruises, we are lucky to benefit from this data. To collect this information, these specialists use GPS satellite tags, underwater identification photos and many other techniques (that you can discover during these trips)! With these methods, our experts are able to locate the animal, know its movements, depth and water temperature. Thanks to this information, they are better able to define the best ways to protect these animals.
Why did Adelaar pick Mantas, Whale sharks and Coral-reef for these special cruises?
Adelaar’s owners always had the will to reconcile tourism activities with Marine Conservation. They looked for vulnerable species that were on every diver’s bucket list. Then they thought it would be the perfect opportunity to raise awareness while the guests are enjoying themselves. We would like them to know more about the threats these animals are facing. As well as how they could prevent them on their own scale.
Marine life depends on the survival of coral reefs to survive. These provide shelter for each species. Nevertheless, they are endangered by many factors, from ocean acidification to climate change & human behavior.
Body care products like sunscreens can also damage coral reefs. It is therefore important to use reef-safe brands before any underwater activity. Check out the latest blog article on this topic!
What makes this journey so special?
Our biologist is a specialist in coral culture. He also participates in their rehabilitation all around Indonesia. Adelaar brings its guests to one of his rehabilitation centres. That one is located near Moyo Island, on the North coast of Sumbawa. Years ago, dynamite fishing destroyed some parts of its seabed. Our marine lovers will get the chance to discover how humans managed to rebuild the local reef and observe the result of their effort.
The guests on this special cruise will follow a course about corals. It is composed of theoretical knowledge, workshops and identification games. The lucky ones will receive a certificate attesting their attendance to the course!
The gill plates of these gentle giants enable them to filter plankton out of the water. Although there is no scientific evidence, Chinese medicine believes that Manta gills can detoxify human blood and fight all diseases.
This conviction leads many people to buy them at exorbitant prices. It is possible to sell a kilo of manta ray gill plates for over $500. A mature giant manta ray can produce up to 7 kilos of dried gills, bringing a potential revenue of $3,500. This is an important incentive that pushes fishermen to sell them on the black market. In addition, Manta rays reproduce extremely slowly. They do not reach their sexual maturity until they are 15 years old. After this age, they usually give birth to a calf every two to five years. This is why their survival is so much affected by fishing.
What makes this journey so special?
Before diving with these elegant giants, our guests will learn how to identify the individuals underwater. In particular, they will be able to distinguish a male from a female and identify a pregnant Manta ray. They will be able to spot details that will help specialists to update their data on these species.
Throughout the journey, our marine biologist will explain the behavior and lifestyle of manta rays. Our guests will understand why we spend more time in some places than others. You will become an expert in Manta’s observation. After this trip, you will be able to use this knowledge for your future dives in tropical waters!
Whale sharks are usually migrating across long distances. The longest journey ever recorded was 19,300 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean. During the migrations, they are in danger of being hunted for their meat. As they often aggregate in the surface feeding, they are quite vulnerable towards boat strike and bycatch.
What makes this journey so special?
Our marine specialist will guide our guests to a place known to be one of the Indonesian whale sharks’ favourite habitat. This area is located in a “secret” bay located in North Sumbawa, where the fishing & finning activities stopped to the profit of tourism.
Throughout this excursion, the guests will swim with them. They will also learn how to behave around them not to disturb their feeding sequences. There are so many interesting facts that make the Whale sharks so unique. One among many others is that unlike many fish, females whale sharks produce eggs. Once the eggs are produced, the young hatch inside of the mother instead of in the water. Isn’t it surprising?
Our marine biologist will spend some time talking about the tagging operations & how it improves the shark’s conservation. This is very important to us. Adelaar is currently raising funds to purchase tags and lead a tagging operation hand in hand with Conservation International. More info about #GoTagMe here.
ADELAAR’S CREW INVOLVED IN OCEAN PROTECTION
Because every action count, and because Adelaar’s crew are the ones in contact with the ocean on a daily basis, they’re the first ones to be sensitized! All crew members passed training and are aware of our impact on the ocean. They have been working on pro-active ways to reduce their imprint.
When a boat anchors on the seabed, it can heavily damage species’ habitat. Thus, our crew avoids anchoring directly on the reef and always uses a mooring line when possible. When it’s not doable, the captain does not drop the anchor and hovers the area until the divers get back on board.
The chef and kitchen staff are doing the provisioning in the most sustainable way. They don’t bring any plastic or a one-time use item onboard. They know how harmful throwing things overboard is, and they learned to get rid of their habits.
Always with a smile!
THE MORE THE MERRIER!
Fortunately, we are not the only ones believing in the power of change! Many other organizations are fighting for Marine Conservation in Indonesia!
We recently discovered one of them, named Project Hiu. The passionate founders and their team are helping to provide alternative income to fishermen living out of finning activities. This is a very ambitious goal as they want to convince families to change what they did from generation to generation.
Shark fins can reach up to $700/kg in Asia, making an individual shark worth thousands of dollars. This provides an incentive for the indiscriminate fishing to continue. Yet, Project Hiu already managed to convert several finning boats into sea-tours, snorkeling, or diving ones! If you want to know more about their achievements, visit their website here!
Emma, nature addict and travel enthusiast.