Last weekend, The International Seakeepers Society – Asia hosted their annual Award Dinner in Singapore. A very special evening where over 220 people with a mix of nationalities made up of diplomatic corps members, leaders from commercial companies, scientists, and individuals came together in the name of conservation.

Seakeepers’ branch in Asia has a unique focus on educating for awareness of the current situation of the oceans. By operating on a local level, they are spreading a sense of appreciation and commitment to protect, conserve and restore when possible.

Part of the dinner is the presentation of The International SeaKeepers Society Asia Achievement Award. This award seeks to recognize an organization in Asia, that demonstrates a responsibility towards the health of Asia’s marine environment because of who they are and what they do to take a lead role. In the past, this special award was won by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Nature Society Singapore (Marine Conservation Group) and YTL Hotels & Resorts. This year the award was presented to The Gili Shark Conservation Project – a grassroots conservation project on the Gili Islands in Indonesia.

“The award was given to the Gili Shark Conservation Project in recognition of their exemplary work and direct role in conservation management. We commend the vision and teams passion to improve the protection of sharks found around the Gili Islands, and to create a legacy of conservation around the islands. The unique program of the Gili Shark Conservation Project allows people from all over the world to experience and learn about sharks first hand while making a real difference with their data collection efforts. The dedication and integration into the local community is evident in the initiative Plastic Free Paradise. “

Furthermore, The International SeaKeepers Society announced that they will provide the funding for the first 30 hex dome structures of the new coral restoration project of the Gili Shark Conservation Project. Coral restoration efforts are becoming increasingly important, as more knowledge is constantly revealed about the coral reefs and the increasing threat of coral bleaching brought along by global warming.

“Through research we have been able to estimate that over 50% of the corals around the Gili Islands have been lost. The Gili Islands is an important location for a coral restoration project because of its touristic attraction. We don’t only have the chance to recover some of the pristine coral reef, but also to spread awareness about the importance of coral reefs and be role models in the field.” Andre Saputra, Lead Scientist at Gili Shark Conservation

This new collaboration between the International SeaKeepers Society Award and the Gili Shark Conservation Project is the perfect proof that when people from different backgrounds but with the same dream come together; change is possible. As Steve Jobs once said: “The once who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Join the Gili Shark Conservation Project

Volunteer with the Gili Shark and Marine Conservation Project and spend your days diving, taking part in marine research and contributing to the important work they do in the protection and conservation of sharks and rays.