Environment & Ecology Specialties

IDR 3.100.000

Environment Specialty Programs are for divers interested in conservation and marine ecology. Become an Ecology Specialty Diver and start to give something back to the oceans.

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day – 2 dives – get involved!

Overview Environment Speciality

If you are an underwater enthusiast and the world’s oceans are more than a big body of water to you, join our Enviroment specialty programs! They are the perfect way to enhance your dive experience by learning about different marine life, how ocean ecosystems function and how to dive safely with turtles, sharks, and more. Whatever your passion, Divine Divers Gili Meno has a specialty for you!

  • coral identification and conservation
  • fish identification
  • marine ecology
  • sea turtle ecology
  • shark ecology
  • dive against debris

We teach the ecology programs as a two-dive specialty course in one day. The choice is yours. Get involved!

Coral Identification and Conservation

Coral reefs are not only stunning, but also vital for the oceans‘ health. Coral reefs that form and surround the many tropical islands of Indonesia are one of the most complex ecological systems on earth. Coral is at the centre of this system with more than 10,000 species. The effects of global warming and rising temperatures of the sea do put these corals at risk. Many organizations are addressing these issues with various initiatives.

The Gilis are home to a revolutionary reef restauration program of international significance: The Biorock project. Biorocks are submerged steel structures that receive a safe low-voltage electric current. Small pieces of broken coral are attached to the structure. They have shown to grow at 3-5 times the normal rate.

The Gili Islands are the second largest Biorock site in the world with more than 120 biorocks and have hosted International Reef Restoration Training Workshops.

Coral reefs – artificial or naturally grown – are even more fascinating if you know more about them. You will learn about different species of corals and their use in the marine environment. In addition, we will teach you to monitor the health of a reef with the help of a color comparison chart.

We will use the two dives to visit both kinds of reefs and learn to identify both the corals and their health.

Upon completion you earn your Coral Identification specialty certification.

Fish Identification

When you start diving you often have no idea what you are looking at. All you know is that what you see is a pretty cool and colorful fish. While you might recognize Nemo (anemone fish) and a turtle, most of the other fish just look like… well… fish. Identifying fish is a great way to start learning all about the new world you have discovered. Instead of thinking “what a pretty fish” you will actually know to identify characteristics of local fish families and species.

During two dives you gain hands-on experience in looking for and identifying the fascinating fish you see underwater.

Upon completion, you will earn your Fish Identification specialty certification.

Marine Ecology / Underwater Naturalist

Are you fascinated with the oceans and want to learn more about the amazing environments you are diving in? Then join the Marine Ecology specialty program!

Learn about why some marine animals behave the way they do and what their role is in the aquatic ecosystem. Look for symbioses, predator/prey and other relationships between aquatic plant and animal life.

You will also be taught how energy flows through communities and the links between different ocean ecosystems. We will also cover Responsible human interactions with aquatic life and diving techniques to minimize aquatic life disturbance. You will become an underwater naturalist in no time.

The Marine Ecology course consists of two (optional) open water training dives. Learn not just what fish and animals are, but how they interact with each other and the environment. With your newfound knowledge, you will appreciate the marine life you dive with even more.

Upon completion, you earn your Marine Ecology Specialty certification.

Sea Turtle Ecology

Sea turtles are some of the most the most enchanting and fascinating animals you will ever dive with. You will want to dive with them even more after completing the Sea Turtle Ecology Specialty program! This specialty program provides the skills and concepts you need to recognize and identify common sea turtle species. It teaches you about the fascinating history of sea turtles, their role in marine ecosystems and threats to their survival.

Turtles have been on this planet for over 150 million years and while they spend most of their time at sea they also depend on the land. They return to the beach they were born to lay their eggs.

The Gili Islands are known as the turtle capital in the world and marked as an important area for marine turtle conservation. Both green and hawskbill turtles thrive around the Gilis and both species are considered as endangered or even critically endangered.

On your two dives you will get the exceptional chance to learn how to differentiate between green turtles and hawksbill turtles, male and female.

Upon completion, you will earn the SSI Sea Turtle Ecology Specialty certification.

Shark Ecology

Many people are frightened of sharks, but these awe-inspiring fish are crucial for healthy oceans and are truly amazing to dive with. In the Shark Ecology program, you will learn how to interpret shark behaviours, why they are often misunderstood and how to dive with them. But not only that, you will also learn the threats that sharks are facing and why many shark species are in danger of becoming extinct.

Indonesia is located in the center of the coral triangle and we should be seeing a large and diverse collection of shark species every day. But we are not. Indonesia is, unfortunately, the largest shark fishing (and finning) nation in the world.  During your course, we will introduce you to The Gili Shark Conservation Project as an award-winning conservation and data collection program among other initiatives to protect sharks.

This is a perfect course for shark fans and for divers and snorkelers who are nervous about sharks but want to overcome their fear.  Join the Shark Ecology specialty program to learn all about sharks and become actively involved in shark conservation.

We will use the two (optional) dives to visit different dive sites where we usually find sharks so you will get the unique chance to observe and dive with these magical yet feared creatures.

Upon completion you earn your Shark Ecology specialty certification.

Dive against Debris 

Many societies are strongly influenced by overconsumption. Many of us rely on far too many disposable items. The result is a buildup of trash that we have nowhere to put. Although helpful, recycling programs are not enough and are still not widely available.

Rubbish from the land and rivers usually ends up in the ocean. Some marine animals become tangled in debris and once caught, they face injury or death. Other marine species (turtles) mistake plastic waste for food that they can’t digest. Debris can also damage coral reefs by breaking or smothering them. As a diver, you’ve likely seen the negative effect of trash in the oceans.

The Project Aware Foundation has created a Dive Against Debries specialty course to help rid the oceans of trash. Diving against debris not only has the obvious positive effects for marine life and our ocean but is also helping to drive policy changes for a cleaner future.

The course takes one day and includes a theory session and two Open Water dives. The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to complete Dive Against Debris surveys independently, including removing marine debris underwater and reporting the data online.

Equipped with protective gloves and a mesh debris bag divers will go out in buddy teams to different reefs collecting as much non organic waste as possible. The rubbish is then separated, weighed and recorded onto a Project AWARE debris data sheet to submit to Project AWARE.

The dives includes protective gloves and mesh bag, briefing and Dive Against Debris ID guide to know what to look for and collect, data sheets to analyse debris data.

Make a difference and earn a Dive against Debris specialty rating at the same time.

Details (for those who like to know more)

Would you like to know what other speciality programs we teach? Or you wonder why you should consider doing a specialty course? Please check our FAQ’s to gain further knowledge.

Our courses are conducted in accordance with PADI standards.

Continue the Adventure

Reach a next level in diving with a dive specialty program at Divine Divers Gili Meno. Specialties are a great way to improve your dive knowledge, skills as well as learn new ones. Good thing is – you can concentrate on specific underwater activities, that really interest you. Popular specialties include Nitrox Diving, Deep Diving and Night Diving but there is a myriad of interesting specialty courses that might tickle your interest:

Our dive courses on Gili Meno are all-inclusive and you will encounter no hidden costs during your diving journey.

  • Maximum 4 students per course
  • Multilingual instructors
  • Full Equipment including dive computer rental
  • Theory and learning materials
  • 2 open water dives including all applicable boat rides
  • Certification
  • Lots of fun!

Please note, the waters around the Gili Islands have been declared a Marine Park. Therefore a one time Marine Park fee of 100.000 IDR has to be paid by all diving and snorkel tour participants. This fee is NOT included in our prices and has to be paid in cash at our dive center on Gili Meno.

To enrol into the course please check the following:

  • Be at least 12 years or older
  • (Junior) Open Water certification or qualifying entry-level certification
  • Be fit and healthy. All diving students are required to comply with a Medical-Statement.

Secure your prebooking discount

If booked in advance with a 50% deposit paid the course comes to a price of 2.945.000 IDR. If you would like to take advantage of this pre-booking discount please contact us directly per email. Please note, the deposit needs to arrive on our bank account before you arrive on the island, otherwise it is not a pre-booking discount. LOL

Plans change. We know that too. Our cancellation policy is flexible and we are trying our best to meet your holiday schedule and potential interruptions of it. If you book a course in advance but you are then unable to do it because you get sick, we will reimburse you of course minus the transaction details.

We can only send you the login details for the eLearning packages once you have paid the full course or a deposit in advance. In the (hopefully unlikely) event that you can’t start the course as planned, you will get of course more time to make it to the island and if even that isn’t going to happen, you will still have the theory and can use that at another dive center at a later stage in your life (within one year).

Why should you consider doing a dive specialty course on Gili Meno?

In general, specialty programs are a great way to improve your current skills and learn new ones that peak your interest. Also, when you complete a certain number of logged dives and specialty programs you will earn the elite Master Scuba Diver Rating once you have completed the rescue course, five specialties and a minimum of 50 dives.

What specialty courses do you offer at Divine Divers Gili Meno?

Specialty courses allow you to focus on a certain area of diving that interest you.  They are a great way to improve your diving skills. Divine Divers on Gili Meno offer following specialties – we will list them according to popularity:

Nitrox Specialty: The most popular specialty course. Dive safer, become less tired and extend your no-decompression time by breathing enriched air nitrox.

Deep Specialty: Become certified to dive to 40 meters and learn about decompression theory and diving planning.

Perfect Buoyancy: The most recommended specialty by most instructors. During PPB (Peak Performance Buoyancy) we improve your buoyancy by playing games underwater, experimenting with breathing patterns, weight placement and learning efficient finning techniques.

Drift Diving: Learn about drift and current diving and discover flying under water. We will practice buoyancy control, negative entries, navigation, use of surface signaling equipment and buddy communication. By the end of waive, tide and current course, you’ll have the skills you need to go with the flowand navigate through a strong surge.

Night Diving: Learn techniques for diving at night and discover the unique creatures that come out after sunset.  It’s a whole different world after dark.

Fish Identification / Underwater Naturalist: Get a better understanding about the marine ecosystem and the differences between terrestrial and aquatic worlds. See new things, learn about the most important fish families in the tropical waters around the Gili Islands and learn to differentiate between different fish

Underwater Photography and Videography: Learn to take awesome photos or videos underwater to show off online.

Wreck Specialty: There are thousands of shipwrecks to be found in the oceans, seas and lakes all over the world! This course will give you skills to navigate and enjoy shipwrecks while teaching you how to recognize and avoid unique hazards wrecks pose to us as divers.

Underwater Navigation: Navigation can be quite a hard skill for a new diver to master. Learn compass proficiency, navigation patterns and natural navigation to make your dives more enjoyable.

Search and Recovery: Learn about search patterns, knot tying and use a lift bag to find missing objects underwater.

First Aid & CPR: A prerequisite to the Rescue Course. You will learn important techniques that may one day save a life and improves your willingness to help at an accident scene.

Environmental / Ecology Specialties: Environment specialty programs are the perfect way to enhance your dive experience by learning about different marine life, how ocean ecosystems function and how to dive safely with sharks, rays and more. The environment specialties can either be taught as a dry course (online and with classroom sessions) or as a two dive specialty. Here are the Divine Divers Gili Meno options:

  • Coral Identification
  • Fish Identification
  • Marine ecology
  • Sea Turtle Ecology
  • Shark Ecology
  • Dive against Debris

Other specialty courses

If there is anything else that tickles your fancy, just let us know- other specialties are for example: Boat Diving, Equipment Techniques, Decompression Diving , Self-Reliant Diver, Full Face Mask Diver, and of course specialty programs that don’t really fit our tropical environment (ice diving, dry suit, etc)

How long will my certification last?

Your entire life! Certifications do not have an expiry date. If you have not dived in more than a year we do recommend refresher training especially when you don’t have extensive dive experience.

Can I dive with health issues?

There are some serious conditions such as epilepsy, active asthma, emphysema, heart disease or haemophilia that could prohibit any diving activity. Since you are looking at advanced training you have surely filled in a medical questionnaire  at least once before. If you had to provide a before a fit-for-diving-confirmation from a doctor then, you will most likely have to bring one again. However, things change and maybe some health issues have resolved themselves whereas other might have appeared. If you are not sure, please check the Medical-Statement and if in doubt contact us.

What’s the difference between PADI and SSI?      

If you are interested in getting your scuba diving certification, you’ve probably come across PADI and SSI, the two major training agencies in the world. But is there a big difference or is one better than the other?

Instructors of both agencies will teach you how to be a skilled diver, as there is a certain skill set that every diver needs to have. Therefore, all diving agencies follow a legal framework laid down by the World Recreational Scuba Diving Council. The training agencies also accept each other; hence you could do an Open Water Course with the one and an Advanced Course with the other agency.

The main difference is in the theoretical education, requirements and certification costs. And of course, much comes down to personal preferences and other factors such as the teaching skills of your instructor and the conditions of the water.

We have decided to offer PADI courses even though most of our instructors can teach both PADI and SSI.

What different diver levels are there?

PADI and SSI differentiate slightly in between the different diver levels. You can mix and match the courses depending on what you are aiming at. When you complete a certain number specialties, you’ll earn different recognition levels up to the elite Master (Scuba) Diver rating. These ratings display your competency and build a solid base for more adventures to come. You can also credit a certain amount of specialties from the one agency to the Master (Scuba) Diver rating of the other agency.

Level 1 Open Water Diver Open Water Diver
Level 2 Specialty Diver – 12 Dives and 2 Specialities OR Advanced Adventurer (optional) Advanced Open Water Diver
Level 3 Advanced Open Water Diver – 24 Dives AND  4 Specialities Rescue Diver
Level 4 Master Diver – 4 Specialities + Rescue Course AND 50 dives Master Scuba Diver – Rescue Diver + 5 Specialities AND 50 dives

Why should I do a diving course on the Gili Islands?

Postcard-like white sandy beaches, azure and year-round warm waters (28 to 29 degrees), the reef on your doorstep and a great lifestyle – does this sound like paradise to you? The Gilis offer great diving all year round and are known as the turtle capital in the world – rightfully so, because both green and hawksbill turtles are abundant. Reef sharks are also frequently spotted and there is a broad range of marine life to be met on all dives. The dive sites are rarely more than a 15-minute boat ride from Divine Divers Gili Meno. The dry season is running from May to October and the rainy season from November to April. Rainy season sounds more extreme than it actually is because it hardly ever rains an entire day – expect showers at different severity but therefore less people.

Why should I choose Divine Divers Gili Meno?

We love what we do! We have been in the diving game for over 10 years as Divine Divers on Gili Meno (but our passion for diving didn’t start here). Apart from our location in paradise and at the most beautiful spot on Gili Meno we are both professional and enthusiastic about diving. Our groups are small and our instructors hand chosen for their personality and excellent teaching records. Safety is our primary concern; our equipment is in excellent order and of course regularly maintained. We are committed to offering first-class service and superior quality dive courses. However, our main differentiator is our personal approach. We live Divine Diver and consider the dive shop more as a family than a business. Some guests just end up staying for months or even years…