Project Details

A marine conservation and research diver program in the heart of the coral triangle focused on marine megafauna in Indonesia's top diving destinations.

Indo Ocean Project is a marine research and conservation program in the heart of the coral triangle. Our field expeditions take volunteer researchers to Indonesia’s top diving destinations and host international and local research projects focused on marine mega fauna conservation efforts including sharks, rays, turtles, and sunfish. With ongoing research projects at our headquarters in Nusa Penida and 2-week expeditions to Komodo and Raja Ampat scheduled every year, we are constantly seeking hardworking and enthusiastic volunteers to take part in our research diver-training program and join the research team in paradise.

You don’t need to be a diver or a scientist to take part in our awesome program! Our project relies on the experience and expertise of our volunteers from all backgrounds.


Conserving Indonesia’s marine environment through research and education.


At Indo Ocean Project we envision a healthy and profitable marine ecosystem throughout Indonesia to benefit the growing tourism industry and help protect the livelihoods of local coastal communities for generations. With the help of our free open access data we contribute to local legislation to support the creation and maintenance of marine parks. The laws that are in place to protect our reefs are based on scientific truths and are respected and enforced. We see more fishing communities across South East Asia turn to eco tourism business models and sustainable fishing practices. All local fishing practices adhere to international law. There will be an increase of mangrove populations along Indonesia’s vast coastline. Through our ‘Adopt a Mangrove’ program we are able to make all communities we are involved with carbon neutral.

How we accomplish our goals –

  • Non invasive methodology on all research projects
  • Training new research divers and creating ocean advocates
  • Education of local and tourists alike on current conservation issues and what we can do to help
  • Hosting international research projects and being an outlet for new and young scientists to develop individual research projects
  • Resorting Indonesia’s mangrove populations with cultivation and transplantation
  • Being 100% carbon neutral leaving no carbon foot print and teaching others in the community to do the same through our mangrove restoration program
  • And of course, going on AWESOME dives!

The main focus of the project is on
Contact Person
Lauren Sparks
Lauren Sparks
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

Indonesia has been ranked the number one shark and ray-fishing nation in the world for the last several decades. Sharks are targeted for their fins while large rays, such as the manta and mobula rays, are prized for their gill rakers. Both of these products collect a high retail price in global Chinese fish markets and are heavily exploited in island nations such as Indonesia. With the rapid population decline of sharks and rays worldwide NOW is the time for action. More data is needed on the life history traits, population dynamics, and abundance of these species and their prey. By standardizing data collection projects we can cross reference our target areas in Indonesia to have a better understanding of these endangered species and put forth management strategies to protect key areas such as cleaning stations, breeding zones, and nurseries.

We have partnered up Dr. Mark Bond from Florida International University to collect underwater video surveillance of 6 marine reserves across Indonesia in the next 3 years. We are also inputting data to online data bases such as Dr. Ryan Kempster’s and Dr Christine Ward-Paige’s eOceans. This has created a busy schedule for our team who work 7:30 am – 5pm five days a week. Their week includes up to 10 research dives, afternoons of data analysis in the lab, community outreach initiatives, and taking part in our mangrove restoration program.

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