One of the benefits of diving in the same area for an extended period is that you start to become familiar with the flora and fauna you can expect to see on a regular basis. Another benefit is that once you become familiar with dive sites, the more chance you have of noticing something unusual. This was brought home to us earlier this week whilst watching an underwater video in the dive shop when one of our customers commented on how much she enjoyed seeing the Sea Turtles.
That started us thinking. When Twin Island Dive staff first started to dive here 3 years ago, a Sea Turtle spotting was not unheard of but certainly not a common sight in the waters around The Nusa Islands. Now, 3 years on, they are so regularly seen that we include them in our briefings as some of the local inhabitants especially on our dive sites at North Penida So what caused this noticeable turn around in the Sea Turtles fortunes when most of the headline news about our Oceans seems to be doom and gloom?
It’s difficult to point to one thing that has help these underwater characters increase their numbers but certainly environmental awareness that the Internet and social media can bring to publicise charities and community work helps. One of these such charities is the Bali Sea Turtle Society (BCTS) who have a sea turtle reintroduction program. Run by local people, the BCTS moves sea turtle eggs from the beach, where they can be damaged or eaten, to a central hatchery to improve the hatching rates.
Sea Turtle eggs take up to 60 days to hatch, and is not an exact science, but when they have a reasonable number of baby sea turtles to release they post on their website where and when the release will happen and anyone is welcome to go and watch these cute infants make their way back into the ocean.
Here at Twin Island Dive we truly believe that our islands have some of the best diving in Indonesia and when local people, expats and tourists start taking an active interest their environment then it can only be for the good of all. Here on Nusa Lembongan we are lucky to be in proximity of 3 islands with mangroves still intact and this helps to keep the juvenile fish and aquatic life populations healthy and numerous. The now common sightings of sea turtles and more frequent sightings of dolphins, Whale Sharks and even an occasional Humpback Wales is a testament to how nature responds when people work with, rather than against, her.