The Indonesian Gili islands are among the most beautiful places on earth, but fishing resulted in extinction of the beautiful coral. With the help of Biorocks, new reefs are being built in this diving paradise.
Get on the boat on the Indonesian island of Lombok and you only have to sail ten minutes before you reach Gili Air, the first of the three Gili islands. Continue for five minutes and you will see Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan behind. The islands are known for their high paradise: the white sandy beaches are full of palm trees and are surrounded by a clear blue sea. Cars are not allowed and each island has its own atmosphere. Air is almost deserted and with that the quietest of the three, Trawangan turns into a beachparty paradise after sunset and Meno is both in terms of location and character between them. The three have one thing in common: they are a dream for every diver and snorkel.
The ideal climate ensures that the visibility in the sea around the Gili’s is almost always more than twenty meters. This allows you to easily admire the underwater world. The Gili’s are home to thousands of tropical fish, large turtles and sharks, that live in and around the coral. Temperature fluctuations and dynamite fishermen, however, have caused more than 70% of the coral to die.
Biorocks on the Gili Islands
Biorocks proved to be one of the solutions against dying coral. These are large iron frames that are slightly under power, a technology that was introduced in 2004 on Gili Trawangan. Huge copies of these were then placed on the bottom of the sea, after which live detached pieces of coral were bound. The light voltage on the frame ensures that the coral grows two to six times faster than normal, giving rise to a full-fledged coral rock in a year and a half. The iron frame has been calcified in the meantime so that the coral can live independently.
Gili Eco Trust
After the success of the first Biorocks on Trawangan, a number of volunteers enthusiastically started working with this technology. The Gili Eco Trust (GET) has now been established. The organization is engaged in the installation of new Biorocks, in order to create a new healthy reef around the Gili’s. Everyone who dives here pays 50,000 rupiah (4 euros) to support the GET. You can also work as a volunteer at the GET. Every last Friday of the month they organize a Clean Up Day , in which divers set off with a bag into the sea to clean up plastic and other rubbish.