We have been asked to restore a reef damaged by dynamite fishing, on Bangka Island, North Sulawesi Indonesia. The first step is to create an initial small artificial reef structure out of scrap material. The scrap metal consists of a galvanized gas pipes, rebar, and a small iron oxygen tank. The tank was the key, it gave the resort owner, Owen, the inspiration to create a diver.

After an extensive brainstorming session, the first design was sketched out on paper. In order to get the dimensions of the diver correct, we used Veran as our model. However, due to the current discussion in society around gender identification, we decided to make the dive gender neutral.

Veran welding the diver.

On Coral Day 2018 the diver was revealed to the public. The children loved being the “dive buddy” of the diver; wearing their self-painted traditional diving goggles, they lay on the table next to the diver, and dream of adventures in the underwater world. And so a name for our diver became quickly apparent: “Buddy”.

What is it like be to be a diver?

Buddy was deployed on a sandy patch in the area damaged by dynamite on December 5th 2018. As usual, we transplanted various coral onto Buddy in the subsequent dives. We’ve noticed that several fish have already taken up residence in Buddy’s base. Every time we meet Buddy, we check to see if the fish are still there. They are! With more fish moving in, the population increased in just a matter of days. Such an fascinating sight!

Buddy breading…..
Buddy’s first dive (picture Owen Tap)
Buddy has been diving for 6 months now.
Buddy gets more “brains”.

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