Farewell Diniy

Diniy (or Dinley or Dino or Gino or D Dawg) has been a science intern with us here at TRACC since September. This guy is radicool and has been absolutely bomb to work with here at TRACC along with all the other volunteers. He has a passionate, hardworking and reliable presence and will be sorely missed when he heads back home to Brunei. I had a chat with Diniy this week to get his reflections on his time here at TRACC.

Before I came to TRACC I was working at tshirt printing company in Brunei for a while but all the time knowing it was not what I really wanted to do. So I began to search for internship opportunities in Malaysia to do with marine conservation. TRACC was the first group that got back to me so I thought why not?

I had studied marine biology at Newcastle University (graduating in 2015) so have a background in marine science. At uni I had done a lot of theory work, but not many practicals, and zero practicals to do with marine conservation. TRACC offered me a way to put theory into practice. I also wanted to get more into diving. A lot of my friends are divers and were encouraging me to do more. I came to TRACC with only four dives but amped to get more experience.

TRACC has taught me a lot about barriers to conservation. I realise first off, that there is not a huge amount of support for conservation and it is really difficult to get funding unless an investment will be immediately profitable. I also learnt a lot about the bajau people. Sustainable fishing is a deep rooted problem for bajau. They have been forced into unsustainable fishing practices because of their lack of country status and ability to gain work anywhere. They resort to risking their lives and destroying corals through bomb fishing as it is the only way they can feed their families and make any sort of income to advance beyond subsistence lifestyles. Visiting the bajau people on Kulapuan, and translating between them and our volunteers has taught me a lot about the reasons behind the the conservation issues at TRACC.

At TRACC I have learnt a lot about construction too. Before I came here I had never touched a power tool and now I can use a cement mixer, drill, single grinder. I know the process of planning, creating and dropping reefs. I had a science project, undertaking soft coral measurements of replanted coral. Whilst the project was not much of a success, we did learn a lot about the sedimentation rates at the north end if the beach, which is really useful for future projects.

The thing I like most about TRACC has been the people. Im constantly Meeting like minded people who want to give back to planet. It's so interesting hearing about how people got here and what drives them to come to a place like TRACC. I have also gained amazing diving experience.

I feel good about future of marine conservation. People often forget the ocean is teeming with life ands it's importance in the world. But more and more, oceans are gaining recognition. I would love to be able to start a similar project to TRACC in Brunei.

I'd like to thank TRACC, the workers, instructors, volunteers, DMs, interns, and Steve Oakley - for starting this incredible project, for making my four months here an incredible experience. I have met so many incredible people with interesting backgrounds - teachers, contractors, carpenters, wildlife officers, stock traders, lawyers, editors, a professional clown, etc. I won't forget my experience and the people I met. Finally, I'd like to thank my good friends, joey and monsoon the dogs, shov the instructors, tom and Christine the previous science officer and DM, Adam and basil the boss DMs, and Joachim and Allia the current science officers and Maddy for making me write this last paragraph for this interview 😂