Blue Marlin Gili Air

Gili air is one of three small islands located north-west of Lombok. The island is famed for its laid-back lifestyle and as we are located in the Coral Triangle, we have an incredible diversity of marine life. Local food is delicious, and we can help you find affordable accommodation in one of the many homestays on the island. No cars, no motorbikes, just as island life is supposed to be!

The Blue Marlin Dive center on Gili Air has established itself as one of the most professional, yet personal, dive schools around. Continuing on with the ethos of the sister Blue Marlin Dive Centers which have been running for 25 years, the school on Gili Air has also taken things a step further by becoming a Conservation Diver Training Center. The program was founded Conservation Diver Instructor Leon Haines, who has since co-founded Reefy, a company developing engineering solutions for groundbreaking innovation in reef and coastal protection. Leon remains as program patron and collaborator, with operational control passed to Marco Rodriguez in 2023. They offer several of the Conservation Diver certification courses, and are adding new and innovative projects all the time.

Discover Blue Marlin Gili Air Conservation Courses

Training Center Offering

One-week program: Reef Science Week

During the first week of the Conservation Diver course we focus on the Ecological Monitoring Program (EMP).
Every day will start with a lecture on the day’s topic, followed by a dive to put the theory into practice. You will learn the ins and outs of the tropical coral reef ecosystems, how to monitor invertebrate and fish species and how-to asses the health of corals.

Two-week program: Artificial Reef Week

During our second week, we will focus on Coral Restoration and Artificial Reefs. During this week, we take our new understanding of the reef and put it into action. After reviewing the theory and techniques involved in reef restoration, you will help in the design, built, and maintenance of coral nurseries and artificial reef structures. Working underwater to restore coral reefs is one of the most fun, challenging and rewarding things you will ever do!

Four-week program: Advanced Ecological Monitoring Program

During the third and fourth week of the program, the candidates will dive deeper in the world of marine ecology by undertaking several specialty courses, including Coral Predator: Population, Management and Monitoring, Giant Clams Nurseries & Population Studies, Coral Disease and Compromised Health Monitoring, and Advanced Coral Taxonomy, whilst practicing what was reviewed during week one and two, by continue retrieving data through the EMP. Moreover, all participants will have the opportunity to continue with their coral restoration project by deploying their artificial reef structure and replenishing it with coral fragments.


After completing all three weeks of the program, you can apply for a 3-month intern position with Conservation Diver Indonesia to gain more experience in day to day conservation activities, work on the development of existing monitoring and restoration work or focus on a research project/thesis for university.

1 day courses and workshops

Discover Conservation Diving

Not enough time? This one-day course will introduce you to coral reef ecology and monitoring reef species along a permanent transect line. You will earn the Coral Reef Ecology and Monitoring Certification.  You can choose to learn and practice on either Fish or invertebrate species.

Seahorse Survey

Join us to Seahorse Bay in Lombok and learn about the evolution, ecology, threats, survey techniques and identification of seahorses. In Seahorse Bay we can find 3 species of seahorse and many different pipefish closely related to seahorses. After a lecture the evening before we will conduct a roving diver survey to monitor the seahorse population in the bay. All data is shared to the global online database at iSeahorse,com. By completing this course, you will earn the Seahorse Ecology and Monitoring certification.

Nudibranch and Sea Slug Survey

Sea Slugs are some of the most ornate and diverse organisms found on and around reefs. In this 1 day course, you will learn about the ecological and economic value of sea slugs, as well as how to find and identify them. This very interesting and fun course is a great way to learn more about these charismatic animals and set you on a life-long path of finding and observing new species wherever you may dive. Also included in this course is the Nudibranch Ecology & ID certification.

Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring

The Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring course delves into the world of sea turtles, exploring their cultural significance, ecological roles, and the threats they face. Set in the “Turtle Capital of The World” on the Gili Islands, our center offers practical dive sessions for students to observe and document sea turtles. This hands-on experience contributes vital data for conservation programs, supporting marine turtle populations locally and globally.

Shark Ecology & Population Studies

Sharks have been swimming in our oceans for millions of years and their anatomy has barely changed, demonstrating their evolutionary success. However, in the last decades, shark populations have drastically decreased worldwide. The Shark Ecology & Population Studies overviews the basic ecology of sharks, including behavior, anatomy and distribution. Furthermore, human activities that endanger shark populations are also discussed. At the end of the course, the student will successfully survey and identify common shark species present around the Gili Islands and determine and employ the adequate conservation approach.