Simon Ferrier - Diving & Marine Conservation in Cambodia
Imagine a tropical island in the middle of a turquoise sea with deserted golden sandy beaches, warm temperatures and blue skies. Hold that thought, because on the island of Koh Rung Samleom you will find all of this and more...........much more.
It is not often that one gets the opportunity to combine some adventure and excitement with helping to conserve and protect some beautiful reefs and its marine life. But my three month stay on the island will leave a lifelong impression. Mixing with other volunteers from all around the world, all with the one goal.....conservation.
When you wake up in the morning and the sun is shining through the window of your thatched bungalow and you can see the ocean lightly lapping the sand only metres away, you are thinking that life does not get much better than this.
Embracing the simple way of life was easy for me, but it may not be for everyone. Getting away from all the things we take for granted like hot water, internet, phones and showers was a way of exploring yourself and your mindset. Beautiful but basic accommodation is on offer. You do not need more.
Educating the local village in sustainable fishing methods which in turn will improve their way of life and food security. Collecting marine data is the main role of the volunteer which will provide the local fishery authorities with information on the health of the reefs and its marine life.
As well as the underwater activities there are other areas of work to be carried out like beach clean-ups, jungle trekking to monitor rare types of orchids and other plant life, and the building of an incinerator which I helped to start while I was on the island.
The diving is excellent and in my three months on the island I completed over 100 dives. The diving activities include seahorse surveys, reef surveys and reef clean-ups, all of which are planned and organised in a safe manner. Even if you have never dived before, you could not find a better place to learn with qualified, quality instructors who allow you to learn at your own pace.
Paul and all the staff run this marine conservation organisation from the heart, entirely devoted to the project. Their passion to do the right thing for this area is immense.
So change the traditional travelling path for a change of pace and sign up for a minimum of two months to really appreciate and get fully involved in the project. Everyone’s input makes a difference.