organization. Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC)

date. 2013-14

After 2 years of science and more than 300 research dives in low-vis water around Hong Kong, I decided to take a break from the city, in pursuit of a clear blue ocean. I bought my one-way ticket and after many hours of travel I arrived Koh Rong Samloem, MCC's 1st project island outside the coast of Sihanoukville. Living on the island was very basic: electricity only ran from 6-11pm, shower from a big blue bucket which stored water from nearby river & rainwater, weekly supplies from mainland where everything were to be carried from the boat to the kitchen. Everyday we head out to the Corral Bay to monitor seahorses, and spent another half of the day for beach cleanups, teaching local kids english (or us learning Khmer), or repairing & decorating local schools.

After 3 months, I was welcomed by Paul to assist in setting up the first aquarium in Cambodia, Kep Oceanarium. My interest in corals grew stronger when I was moving them around for "decoration". I started propagating corals in tank and eventually transplanted them to our restoration site on Koh Seh. I also gave guided tour to tourists and introduced them about Cambodian marine lives and local marine conservation issues. It was the first time I realized the challenge in explaining science to the public.. sometimes you have to be creative and tell a story, instead of giving them scientific facts!

I spent the rest of my time on a new project site at Koh Seh, working with the MCC team to carry out baseline surveys in order to record the diversity of the site and nearby islands, monitor the coral garden, build new bungalows, explore the island and play volleyballs with the police who were stationing on the island to keep out Vietnamese fishermen from Cambodian territories.

© 2017 by jcywong

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