I came I dived, I planted corals. Some of the reefs we dove were superb and so much better than Mabul. The underwater coral planting is just amazing, it is great to be able to see the reefs created by tracc making a real difference to the environment of pom pom island. The oldest reefs were planted in 2012 and they have double handful sized corals and a mass of fish. The reefs planted in 2013 have fist sized branching acropora corals. The coral biscuits are clearly being covered by the porites massive corals which is spreading and growing.
I helped create bottle reefs to stabilise the reef creat and this is fantastic. One end of a ribbon reef is 8 months old and is colonised by clouds of fish and the corals are just starting to grow. Planted corals are there but if you look carefully baby coral which settled this year are just forming into recognisable shapes and hiding the bottles that support them. The other end of the ribbon reef is more recent and we worked at planting the corals on the bottles. The crate reefs are also doing well, clouds of fish are a sure sign that the reefs are doing their job but the main purpose is to stabilise the reef slope and that is less obvious but much more important.
I must say that the previous review by linda 99 “One look & that was enough” is simply incorrect. Sure she saw loads of rubbish in front of TRACC, If she had asked she would have learnt it was in transit for recycling or disposal. The volunteers clean all the turtle beaches - including the trash dumped by the resort she stayed at - and all the rubbish is sent by TRACC to the mainland. Did linda get up early and watch her resort staff, burying the plastic in the sand of the beach so that it washes out at the next high tide.
Did Linda appreciate that the large number of fish at the north tip and in front of her resort are a result of the effort that lots of volunteers have made to plant reefs on otherwise barren rubble slopes.
Did linda realise that TRACC saved over 8500 turtle eggs last year so they were not sold in the Semporna market. The resort she stayed at is invited to watch turtles nesting because the TRACC volunteers patrol the beaches every 2h through the night to stop poachers.
Linda came, took video of the results of the work that TRACC does and then writes a poor review. She did nothing positive for the reef during her visit, what gives her the right to critisize the work that all the volunteers do to protect, conserve and rebuild the reef of Pom Pom Island.
LINDA you should be ashamed.
I and all the volunteers at TRACC work hard to repair the damage created by fishermen in the past. - WHAT does your resort do. Creates more damage and pollution because i and every other volunteer watched the resort destroy reef and jetty..
TRACC does not pretend to be a resort, the TRACC staff and volunteers are making a tremendous difference to the pom pom reef and the enthusiasm is infectious. This was a great trip, the best volunteer expereince I have had and I would recommend this place to anyone who actually cares about coral reefs. There will be sharks on Pom POm in the near future and that will be because of the amazing work done by TRACC. The progress towards a marine protected area is commendable and I cannot help feeling that the world needs more dedicated individuals like the TRACC staff. well done everyone!!