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Why diving at Bawah Reserve is different to other dive locations.

Diving in and around Bawah Reserve and the Anambas Islands is an exceptional experience for all ages. John Nolan, our Dive Centre Manager, explains why diving at the Reserve
provides a unique window into the world of reef conservation.

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Bawah diving today

Being a relatively unexplored area, there are always fascinating things to find and new places to
discover around Bawah Reserve. All of our dive sites are within a 10-minute boat ride from the
resort, and we access them via our luxurious boat, Bawah Diver. All fringing locations start with
breathtakingly colourful shallow coral reefs, with gentle slopes, and end in mysterious muck habitats in the deeper areas. We can often see black tip reef sharks and green or hawksbill turtles, as well as many species of fish, nudibranchs and vibrant corals, which makes for some great underwater photos.

See our guide to the top 5 must-see marine life at Bawah HERE 

 

Diving for everyone

diving-at-bawah-coral

One of the greatest aspects about scuba diving in Bawah Reserve is that it is suitable for everyone. For new divers taking their first steps underwater, we have two lagoons with large, shallow sandy areas for training and practicing underwater skills, plus beautiful shallow reefs with easy access from our jetty and extremely mild currents due to the nature of the sheltered lagoon.

More experienced divers can explore the reefs surrounding the islands. They have exceptional
visibility and mild to moderate currents. Ultimately all the diving around Bawah is relaxing and
enjoyable and will contribute to the wellness and serenity of a stay.


Bawah diving in the past

It is an unfortunate reality that the coral reefs around Bawah have suffered from unsustainable
fishing practices in the past. Like many parts of Indonesia, local fisherman previously conducted
dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing and other such methods, believing the ocean to be an inexhaustible resource, because it always had been. Thankfully, since the Reserve was established in 2014, these practices have come to a halt.

 

What we are doing to help

Diving Bawah Anambas Foundation Coral Transplantation

Through the Anambas Foundation, Bawah is also working with fisherman from the Riau Archipelago to educate and promote sustainable fishing practices, so that fish stocks remain stable and available forfuture generations to come.
Even with past damage, the reefs around Bawah are incredibly healthy, and you can find a large
diversity of corals, some of which are surely hundreds of years old.

PC010203 Coral Tree Bawah Anambas Foundation

We are working hard to regenerate certain parts of the reefs and prevent any further damage by:
 Setting up mooring lines around the island, which eliminates the need for boats to use
anchors (one of the most common reasons coral reefs are damaged today)
 Deploying artificial reefs, consisting of large metal pyramids, coral spiders and concrete
hexadomes
 Operating a coral tree nursery, where small coral fragments can grow enough to become
viable for attachment to our artificial reefs
 Conducting consistent underwater clean ups and tracking the type, weight and location of
various types of rubbish that we collect
 Removing old ghost fishing netting (almost a ton to date)
 Conducting coral coverage and fish biomass surveys, which will hopefully show a statistically
significant increase in coral propagation and diversity in years to come

Read more about the Anambas Foundation here.

 

On top of all of this, we have been introducing other Bawah staff to the beauty of the underwater world, so they can share our passion and pass it on to friends, family and future guests. While we have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team at Bawah Reserve have been taking the opportunity to ensure our reefs are becoming healthier and healthier with each passing month.

We look forward to welcoming guests again so they can witness and get involved with our
continuing efforts to beautify Bawah’s underwater ecosystem.

 

For more information on diving at Bawah Reserve - Please download our diving brochure here.

 

DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

 

 

About the Author; Meet our Dive Centre Manager and Instructor John Nolan
John holds a BSc in Zoology and an MRes in Aquatic Ecology and Conservation and was introduced to diving through an internship with the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program and has not been able to stop diving since. After working as a Dive master in Thailand, Zanzibar and London (of all places!) he completed his instructor course in Borneo and has since taught in the beautiful Indonesian waters of Bunaken and Bali. John loves to patiently reassure people taking their first (metaphorical) steps underwater and takes a lot of pride in watching them grow into more confident and comfortable divers. Marine conservation is his passion and sharing that with others is his goal.

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