STARR 2017

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STARR 2017

July 20, 2017 - July 28, 2017

STARR stands for Scientific Trial Active Reef Rehabilitation. This program will take place at Les village, in the rural north coast of Bali. We will work with Sea Communities, a grassroots organisation working with the fishing village of Les to rehabilitate a coral reef devastated by cyanide fishing. The fishermen who poisoned the reef are the ones now working with us to restore the reefs. Two research fellows from National University of Singapore Tropical Marine Science Institute are leading the expedition for the third consecutive year.

Our artificial reefs now comprise 3 concrete platforms and about 20 concrete turtles covering the area of a football field, coral rope nurseries, and now, coral tables. In STARR 2016, we also transplanted mature rope coral onto the natural benthic.

We are trialling whether active intervention can regenerate the reef, versus natural recovery (passive regeneration and no-take zones). Both coral growth and fish repopulation will be monitored.

STARR 2017 is now expanding from a monitoring exercise to a coral nursery and replantation programme. Rather than planting coral recruits into immobile concrete structures, we will now implement coral nurseries, nurse the coral babies for 6 months to a year, and then replant them into natural benthic when they are hardier. This has been shown in Singapore trails to improve survival rates.

Planting corals was the favourite activity of STARR 2016 expedition members. So we will do more of it in STARR 2017! We will launch coral tables and tag corals. We will also replant mature corals from our existing rope nurseries.

In addition, we will do “coral gardening” data collection, gathering data of which corals grow best where, and why. We will inventory count our nursery and re-planted coral for survival rate, measure depth, temperature, siltation, bleach and disease watch.

More advanced divers can join our fishermen and scientists in doing detailed measurement of our re-planted field of corals. This involves photographing the coral with a caliper then extrapolating the caliper measurement using ImageJ software.

In addition, we will do point intersect transects over natural and re-planted sites, and transect belt fish surveys.

Divers of all levels are welcome, as there are different tasks suited to different diving skills. Non-diving spouses or friends are also welcome, as we can organise land-side activities for you.

Due to popular demand, we will now dive three dives a day for our STARR diving days. Also by popular demand, I am canvassing views that you are ok we extend our expedition to 9days 8nights instead of 7d/6n. The dates are 20-28 July 2017 for the 9 day trip.

Expedition costs cover all-in land costs (excluding flights):

  • lodging twin share seaside villa room, own en suite bathroom
  • all meals (water and hot beverages included) excluding lunch at Tulamben café (ala carte)
  • car transfers airport and Tulamben/Tirta Gangga
  • tanks and weights (bring own gear)
  • STARR diving days will have 3 dives a day other than interspersed “easy” day due to travel/off time
  • 2 fun dives on the last day at Tulamben world famous USS Liberty wreck + a visit to the Tirta Gangga water palace
  • $40 per coral nursery ($80 for two launched in the 9 day expedition), as a reef rehabilitation contribution.

Please email us if you’re interested in joining this expedition.


July 20, 2017
July 28, 2017




Sea Communities, Les Village
Penyumbahan, Desa Les
Tejakula, Bali Indonesia
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