Today our class starts as usual at 08:30, but unlike usual today we were only three. Irfan is in the field today, and so Firman, Reva and I are working on a research study about manta ray tourism in Komodo National Park.
Our task today is brainstorm an introduction and methodology. We learn a lot during this process, including how to structure our research paper and how to identify the ned users of our research. In Indonesia, we have a National Plan of Action for Sharks and Rays which identifies the research priorities that will help the government to reach their goals. Our research could also help Komodo National Park Authority to evaluate the effectiveness of the national park. Our conclusion is that when we design a research project, it should provide useful results for the government or other stakeholders, and not just for ourselves.
After our research brainstorming, we start to prepare for our education visit to a local polytechnic. Our plan is to present information about manta rays and Komodo National Park to the sustainable tourism students. We hope that they can become local champions for marine conservation in Komodo National Park. All afternoon we prepare and rehearse our presentations. There’s still a lot of things that we need to do to make it perfect, but we are getting close and tomorrow we can practice some more.
At the end of the day Vidlia and I visit the dive operators to check who will visit Manta Point tomorrow. On the way we met Irfan and Miko returning from their manta survey. They explained that the sea was quite rough today, and that they had encountered seven reef sharks at Siaba Besar, as well as two reef mantas at Manta Point. Irfan was happy because the tourists had been very enthusastic when he gave his manta briefing.