Recently, Professor Bronwyn Gillanders took a group of undergraduate science students to Timor Leste. Whilst there, the students completed PADI Open Water or PADI Advanced dive courses. They snorkelled on seagrass and coral reefs to view the diversity of corals, fish and other organisms.
The students undertook litter surveys around Dili and on Atuaro Island. The data collected will be added to the CSIRO litter database. They cleaned up a beach on Atuaro Island and sorted the litter, entering it into Tangaroa Blue database. Even the locals joined in the litter collection!
Whilst on Atuaro Island, students examined fishing and aquaculture, visiting small scale fisheries (for octopus), shrimp aquaculture and learnt about seaweed farming for agar. They visited the Dili fish markets and talked with Kim Hunnam, a PhD student working on the sardine fishery in Timor (PhD student at CDU and ANU and associated with WorldFish).
During some downtime, students hiked to opposite side of Atuaro Island and along the way, one of the students was interviewed by a local reporter.
The students had a wonderful time diving, collecting data, learning about local aquaculture and will cherish their memories of this study tour for many years to come.
Photo by Bronwyn Gillanders