Conservation is foremost about protection but with that comes the need for research. Here in Cambodia we can see everyday when we go diving that there is a desperate need for protection of the marine environment. We also experience this when we see endangered species for sale in local markets, when we hear dynamite explosions whilst diving, when we see illegal trawling within the delicate habitats of the inshore areas and when we see the use of cyanide and other destructive fishing techniques on our local reefs and ecosystems. These are all things that bring immediate attention to the need for immediate action.
The need for immediate action must be coupled with the collection of solid data to prove beyond doubt that these and other actions have a detrimental effect on the local ecosystems and also to prove the benefits of conservation programs. When witnessing first hand the large amount of damage that can be done in a very short time it is easy to understand the need for protection but for anyone not directly witnessing the destruction a need for clear data is essential. When we take action towards marine conservation we need to assess whether an area needs protection, why it needs protection and what it needs protection from. These are just a few of the major questions we need to ask. We need to look at all factors from the obvious to the not so obvious.
Critical thinking is required and science is needed. By investigating marine ecosystems to quantify the biodiversity andabundance of flora and fauna then measure the impact of external activities we can start to draw conclusions about the negative and positive effects each action has on our local marine ecosystems.
Through a scientific monitoring program our team of researchers and trained scuba divers are investigating the marine environmental conditions along the coastline of Cambodia, this information is then be used to assist the local and national government in their strategy planning for marine conservation and support of local fishing communities. As part of our team you will be involved in marine conservation and research this means that during your time on the island you will be asked to regularly scuba diving to monitor our target sites. Depending on your experience you will be trained in many aspects of underwater monitoring and research, based on worldwide research programs. Besides learning the methodology of collecting data, you will also learn about what species live in the Cambodian coastal waters and how to recognize them.
For those that develop a passion and want to learn more about marine research further training will be given to take you up to the level of team leader.
Together with other volunteers, interns and specialists you will spend time in the field conducting marine surveys using scientific techniques in order to collect, collate and analyse data on the marine environment. Investigative projects include seahorses surveys, Benthic Surveys, biodiversity and abundance surveys to name a few. This information is then submitted to the Cambodian Fisheries Administration, and in turn will help in maintaining a sustainable marine environment for Cambodia. Some of our main research projects also include data collection on coral bleaching that has been affecting Cambodian coral reefs and other large coral reefs around South East Asia, Marine health and identification of important habitats for protection.
Our Team is among the few to be out there all the time, doing research and keeping the destruction at bay. We are conducting extensive surveys throughout the coast of cambodia. We have in the first 2 years recorded data from over 1000 different sites and have identified another important series to go through.
Many of these sites had never been researched or reported on before. We are pushing the boundaries of the known territories in underwater Cambodia!
Marine Research Achievements so far......
New Species of Nudibranch.
First Recorded find of Hippocampus Mohnikei in Cambodia.
94 marine fish species added to the Worldfish/Fishbase Cambodia marine fish species lists.
Identification of important habitats for protection.
All of our data is shared with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration inline with our official collaboration agreement on Marine Conservation activities in Cambodia. We facilitate post-graduate research to further develop the scientific recording capacities of the organisation please contact us for internship possibilities.