Marine Conservation Courses

Coral Rehabilitation And Coral Monitoring

Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, supporting more species per unit area than any other marine environment.

The importance of healthy coral reefs to their surrounding communities cannot be understated, they not only provide them with food and revenue (through fisheries and tourism), but also stave off coastal erosion, thereby safeguarding land property from damage and reducing the risk of population displacement.

However, the health of coral reefs around the world is in serious decline, even in the Philippines. One solution is the reproduction of coral, through in-water coral propagation, while regularly monitoring their state on a large enough scale.

Through a partnership with several renowned marine conservation organisations, Conservation Freediving Bohol developed different marine conservation courses specifically adapted to the practice of freediving: for the coral rehabilitation modules, we partnered with Ocean Quest Global and the Coral Restoration Consortium; and we partnered with Coral Watch from the University of Queensland to develop our coral monitoring course, as part of a citizen-science program.

Marine Conservation Courses through Freediving

Until recently, coral reefs had been almost exclusively monitored and rehabilitated by those with the financial capacity to do so (the costs of scuba certification and equipment amounting to several months of average income in many countries across the world), which kept local communities out of the process.

It is also noteworthy to mention that the main factors at play in the disappearance of coral reefs around the world are bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures, which are due to rising green gas emissions, in which the tourism industry plays an important part. It is therefore necessary in our view to increase the role played by locals in marine protection.

We believe that a viable option to develop reef resilience in coastal areas is to turn locals into stakeholders in marine conservation, by enabling them to capture benefits from it in their daily life. Which is why we give free training to local spear fishers and dive guides, in order to enable them to teach and work on the reef with us and give them a compensation for the days they spend working on marine conservation, off their regular job.

In order to finance these activities, we offer the same exclusive marine conservation courses, for a fee, to the visitors of the island. 

Our Marine Conservation Courses

coral rehabilitation workshop

If you would like to learn the basics about coral reefs, coral biology and coral propagation, we offer our half a day “coral rehabilitation workshop”, to get a first grasp of it and visit our coral nurseries.  

  • Course duration: 4 hours.
  • Course details : 1 theory session, 1 open water session.
  • Prerequisites: be at least 12 years old (with parent or guardian consent if less than 18 years old), be able to swim and have no medical contraindications for snorkeling.
  • Inclusions : snorkeling equipment.
> 120 USD <

coral rehabilitation course

The coral rehabilitation course provides students with fundamental knowledge about corals and propagation techniques, tools and equipment, coral extraction protocols, substrate and brood stock extraction, as well as nursery development. After completion of this course students will be able to participate in any of Ocean Quest Global’s ongoing restoration project.

  • Course duration: 2,5 days.
  • Course details : 2 theory theory sessions, 2 in-water and propagation sessions, 1 final exam.
  • Prerequisites: be at least 12 years old (with parent or guardian consent if less than 18 years old). Be a certified freediver (AIDA 2 or equivalent)
  • Inclusions : educational material, propagation material, freediving equipment.
> 300 USD <

coral rehabilitation trainer

The Ocean Quest Global’s coral rehabilitation trainer course enables those who pass it* to teach the coral rehabilitation workshop and course. You will learn everything there is to know about nursery management, brood stock nurseries, how to design a rehabilitation project and more. Candidates will have to demonstrate their ability to teach. 

  • Course duration: 3 to 4 days.
  • Course details : 3 theory sessions, 3 open water and propagation sessions, final exam.
  • Prerequisites: be at least 18 years old, having passed the coral rehabilitation course and be a professional freediver (instructor level). 
  • Inclusions : educational material, propagation material, freediving equipment..
*Please note that a motivation letter containing your background with regards to environmental and/or social projects, as well as a brief summary of the activities you intend to lead with this certificate will be required.
> 500 USD <

Coral monitoring course

CoralWatch, launched in 2002 by the University of Queensland, is a citizen-science program that seeks to integrate education and global reef monitoring by examining coral bleaching and uses a monitoring network to educate the public about reef biology, climate change, and environmental stewardship. Our course teaches you everything there is to know about their methodology and gives you the opportunity to do your own survey.

  • Session duration: 4 hours.
  • Prerequisites: be comfortable in the water. 
  • Course details: 1 theory session, 1 open water session, and one survey.
  • Prerequisites: be at least 12 years old (with parent or guardian consent if less than 18 years old), be able to swim and have no medical contraindications for snorkeling (or freediving if you are AIDA 2 certified or equivalent).  
  • Inclusions : monitoring equipment, snorkeling or freediving gear depending on the depth of the survey.
> 100 USD <

in-water, monitoring survey

If you have already done our coral monitoring course, or are familiar with the CoralWatch methodology of survey, we would be happy to have you help us run surveys around the island, or elsewhere in the Philippines (a monitoring kit will be given to you in that case). Depending on our schedule you might do that with us, or with a volunteer. If properly done, we will upload your survey metrics into the database of the University of Queensland. 

Please note that the monitoring kits cost us 12$, plus (high) shipping fees from Australia and import tax, so if you receive a free kit from us please try to use it regularly and bring it with you wherever you go to a location with coral reefs.  

  • Session duration: 2 hours.
  • Prerequisites: having done the coral monitoring course or be experienced with CoralWatch survey methodology. 
  • Inclusions : CoralWatch survey kit, snorkeling or freediving gear depending on the depth of the survey.
> Free <

in-water, rehabilitation session

If you have already completed the coral rehabilitation course and feel confident identifying coral of opportunities (broken or endangered fragments) and propagating them, then feel free to explore the reef and work on our coral nurseries. Just let us know in advance so that we can coordinate and go with you or match you with a volunteer for safety purposes. 

  • Session duration: up to you.
  • Prerequisites: having done the coral rehabilitation course and be a certified freediver (AIDA 2 or equivalent) 
  • Inclusions : propagation and freediving equipment.
> Free <

protect corals Reefs