The Jakarta Post | Supplement | Thu, June 05 2014, 2:51 PM
Several journalists were invited by Qunci Villas to witness the launch of the biorock technology-based artificial reef park in Lombok. The Jakarta Post’s Sudibyo M. Wiradji talks to biorock specialist Delphine Robbe of the Gili Eco Trust, a local non-governmental organization set up to protect coral reefs from destructive fishing around the three Gili islands, off Lombok, Indonesia. Following are excerpts of the interview:
Question (Q): Gill Eco Trust was greatly involved in yesterday’s inaugurated artificial reef park in Senggigi Beach, Lombok. Could you explain the reason behind it?
Answer (A): I was here as a consultant for reef restoration as I am a biorock specialist, and so I could connect the art structure from Teguh to the solar panels, therefore making it a reef restoration art structure.
How did you come up with the idea to collaborate with artist Teguh Ostenrik, LHA and other organization in the project?
Teguh contacted me a few months ago and we started working together. The idea is to expand the reef with Teguh and other artist and so we involved the DKP Lombok Barat for authorization and LHA to get more hotels/businesses to sponsor the expansion of the reef.
The artificial reef park uses biorock technology. Could you explain it?
A steel structure pollutes the sea as rusts away, with biorock technology, we use electrolysis, which makes the steel structure grow limestone or calcium carbonate – the best substrate for coral to grow on.
The artificial reef park in Senggigi is not the first of its kind to be developed in Indonesia. Could you tell me other similar parks in Indonesia?
Gili Islands Lombok Utara.
What challenges do you face in developing artificial reef parks?
Anchors and fishermen damaging everything.
What makes the artificial reef park in Senggigi Beach different from similar parks developed earlier?
Do you think the artificial reef park will attract divers and tourists to Lombok?
I hope so, and I hope the tourists will stay in Lombok to snorkel rather than always going to the Gili Islands all the time.
Could you tell me Lombok’s strength or superiorities as a diving destination, compared to other diving destinations In Indonesia?
There are more dive sites, instead of everyone going to the Gilis, which are already crowded and so stressed reefs.
Could you share your experience in diving in Lombok? Why do you love diving and since when did you dive?
I have dived since I was 12, I love being in water. Indonesia, and [particularly] Lombok, is the best area for diving in terms of biodiversity and coral reefs.
When related to real life, what lessons have you learned from your experiences in diving?
Calmness, symbiosis link, ecosystems balance.