Interns Get a Taste of Project AWARE Net Removal

Sara get's stuck in with Downbelow's instructor Roy.

Downbelow’s interns Sara and Leanne got their first taste of removing an illegal fishing net from a reef in Kota Kinabalu’s TAR Park yesterday.

It was a bright, blue-skied day in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, much like we’ve had for most of January. Perfect for diving, of course.

Sara and Leanne was part of the professional interns, lead by resident PADI Course Director Richard, doing a dive on the TAR Park’s Ribbon Reef.

During the dive Richard spotted the net entangled on the reef, sloping from 16m down to 30m.

Because the TAR (Tunku Abdul Rahman) Park is a protected marine park, fishing with any kind of net within the boundaries of the park is illegal.

It’s not just to give fish and marine life a safe breeding ground, but also because nets get stuck on and damage the reefs, which is home to so much life.

Richard reported the location of the net to Sabah Parks and assembled Downbelow’s staff and the available interns for the illegal net removal and Project AWARE mission.

Leanne and Sara, together with the rest of the group, returned to the site and set upon the net cutting it free from the reef and sending it to the surface where it was hauled onto the boat.

With the help of the professional scuba diving interns, the entire net was remove and marine life and reef were freed.

Well done to Leanne and Sara for gaining their first net removal experience. May it be the first of many.

Read the detailed account with photos on the blog.

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