OCEAN QUEST

DIVING WITH PURPOSE

Partnering with Sea Shepherd Dive

This is a development resulted from mutual interest in conservation of the ocean environments. Ocean Quest is a small organization consisting of few people who worked on education systems to empower the public to take active role in coral reef rehabilitation. We needed partners that will take our education system to a broader scale. A partner that encourages active participation and doing just like we do. And by a stroke of luck we found Sea Shepherd Malaysia that introduce us to Sea Shepherd Dive. We found common ground of conservation through community education which shall be introduce to the diving industry. This will take recreational diving to a new level, purposeful and with unlimited possibilities.

Continuation of the Ocean Quest education system is seen in its regular updates on new findings as well as its educational policy that is geared to adapt to changes in the science and sociology of conservation. Policy of nations is also taken into this aspect as Ocean Quest abides to local and international laws for conservation. In the prevention of abuse of the coral reef environments in the pretext of conservation Ocean Quest regulates its programs and issue certifications to those who have met our requirements. Persons bearing the Ocean Quest certification card undergone comprehensive training and knew what they are doing when they take part in coral conservation. This system shall be taken and apply by our partner to broaden coral conservation in this region. With this partnership we believe Sea Shepherd can propel the education system into the diving industry and ultimately make large scale coral rehabilitation possible. Coral reef rehabilitation need not be a losing battle anymore.
Benefits to the Community
In the past three years of our campaign we have seen improvements in the corals at the reefs we worked on. However, if the local community does not benefit or appreciate the effort it will not grow. The programs that Ocean Quest run in all location must bring income to the local diving industry and the local community. For this reason Ocean Quest has never run the entire program themselves. Instead local dive centers are selected and given the business of organizing the program. Local communities benefited from the revenues generated from boat rental, homestead and food. Everyone including us expect this effort to continue and eventually create a new and sustainable lifestyle for them. We knew that if this continues it will make those living on the coast appreciates the coral reef and want to protect them for their children and grandchildren.
Benefits to the Diving Industry
The business of recreational diving on many resort islands relies on the system of recruit and retain. Customers are recruited to take up SCUBA through certification courses. Their interest is retained so that they will return for more exciting dives or perhaps continuing their diving education. The coral propagation program is proven an excellent program for dive centers. Those who taken up coral propagation returns each year for two main reasons. First, they want to see their coral grow. Second, because the program encourages the participants to do the gardening process with the local community they will also like to return to meet their local "families". We knew that the locals are important in the process of coral reef rehabilitation as they are the eyes that keep watch of the condition of the coral we propagated. In return Ocean Quest will support the community through more programs in they area.

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