Biorock Reef Restoration



The Biorock technology is a novel technique to create artificial coral reefs, by building a steel structure and putting a low voltage of direct current through it when sunk in the ocean.

Reef gardeners and biorock students attach corals that are still alive but aren’t rooted to substrate onto the structures. Due to the low voltage current and resulting electrolytic reaction a stable substrate is formed of calcium carbonate around the metal, providing a sturdy surface for corals to cement to. This low voltage also promotes the corals grow faster and stronger than on natural reefs. Doing this, Gili Eco Trust restores the beautiful coral reefs of Gili Trawangan in a short period of time. They have proven to be more resilient than natural reefs in severe bleaching events of 2009, 2010 and 2016. More than 120 structures are placed in the waters around the Gili Islands, fostering a lot of new corals and a vast array of fish life.

The Reef Restoration Program

Trawangan Dive offers an innovative program aimed at restoring their reefs. The reef restoration program welcomes students around the world and is designed for gap year students, students looking for thesis and dissertation topics, people on career breaks and anyone interested in more than your average vacation! 

Certain areas of shallow water corals around the Gili Islands have suffered damage by combinations of coral heatstroke, disease, land-based sewage, global sea level rising, over-fishing and direct physical damage. Restoration of degraded reefs and coastal habitats on a scale that makes a difference must be an active environmental priority and not an afterthought.

A revolutionary new technology called Biorock® can make this possible. The Biorock® Process involves a submerged steel structure that applies a safe low-voltage electrical current. Small pieces of live broken coral are then strapped to the structure and have been shown to grow at 3-5 times the normal rate while coral survival under higher water temperatures and pollution increased by 16 to 50 times.

The Gili Islands are the second largest Biorock® site in the world, currently home more than 120 Biorock® structures and have hosted International Reef Restoration Training Workshops. The reef restoration project is coordinated by the Gili Eco Trust which works closely with the DKP (Indonesian Marine Conservation and Fisheries). Head of the Gili Eco Trust is Delphine Robbe who oversees the Biorock project around the Gili Islands and here at Trawangan Dive for more information visit Since 2004 when the first Biorock® reef was installed many development and research students from Indonesian and other Universities around the world have come to study the Biorock® reef restoration project as part of their Thesis or Masters Degree. Our hope is to continue these projects and make the Gili Islands a global centre for coral research and re-growth.

Trawangan Dive offers a variety of training programs wherein students and volunteers would receive diver training from Open Water to Divemaster and the Biorock Specialty course. During their training they would learn about coral biology and environmental threats, be trained how to coral garden, survey, conserve, maintain the exciting Biorock® and finally design, weld and submerge their own Biorock® structure.

For more information on Biorock® technology visit


gt-bio-17.jpg coral gardening

2 Week Biorock® Specialty and Reef Check Course

IDR 10,000,000

2019 Course Dates:  
15-27 Apr, 17-29 Jun, 30 sept-12 Oct, 11-23 Nov

  • Courses run for 2 weeks with Sundays off

  • Must be Advanced Open Water or above

  • Course includes PADI Biorock® Specialty course and Reef Check eco diver certification

  • Gain further knowledge and experience in reef ecosystem identification, reef survey techniques, coral gardening and Biorock maintenance

  • 2 dives daily which include hands on practical work

  • Design, build and sink a new structure

1 Week Biorock® Specialty Course

IDR 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 Including reef check

2019 Course Dates:  
15-20 Apr, 17-22 Jun, 30 sept-5 Oct, 11-15 Nov

  • Course runs from Monday - Saturday

  • Must be Advanced Open Water or above

  • Course includes PADI Biorock® Specialty course and Reef Check eco diver certification (optional)

  • Gain further knowledge and experience in reef ecosystem identification, reef survey techniques, coral gardening and Biorock maintenance

  • 2 dives daily which include hands on practical work

Introduction to the Biorock Process

IDR 4,100,000 / 4 DIVES

  • 1 or 2 day PADI speciality (4 dives recommended). Gain a PADI Distinctive Speciality certification.

  • Learn about coral ecology and the importance of coral reefs in the marine environment. The course raises awareness to the state of coral reefs global and the need for awareness and responsible behaviour to protect remaining healthy reefs.

  • Divers will also be introduced to the Biorock process and technology and why it is so successful.

  • Take part in training to identify damaged coral reefs, the causes of destruction and the use of Biorock technology for restoration and erosion prevention.

  • Learn how a Biorock works and why they are more successful than other reef restoration techniques. Will also gain an insight into how they are advantageous in preventing coastal erosion and eco tourism.

  • Course includes 2 dives, at least one around the Biorock structures. The divers will learn to identify species of coral and the status of the corals on reefs and also on Biorock structures to compare. You will also learn how to recognize coral bleaching, disease and predation with underwater identification slates, whilst gaining a PADI speciality certification.

Biorock Fun Dive

IDR 640,000 / per dive

  • Learn what a Biorock is whilst diving around the world’s largest concentration of Biorock reef structures.

  • Briefing includes why the Gili islands reefs depend on artificial reef restoration. The basics of what a Biorock is and how it is advantageous to Gili islands tourism, fish populations and reefs.

  • Help our volunteers’ check the structures are on, working properly and harbouring the correct corals.

  • Bring along your underwater camera and get a picture on our very own Deus motorbike Biorock.

  • Dive includes short briefing on the Biorock technology, how long our Biorocks have been established, the age and condition of each Biorock you will see. Choose between a south Trawangan Biorock dive or North Biorock.

PADI Dive Against Debris Specialty

IDR 2,800,000

  • Equipped with protective gloves and a mesh debris bag divers will go out in buddy teams to different reefs collecting as much non organic waste as possible.

  • Debris is separated, weighed and recorded onto a Project AWARE debris data sheet to submit to Project AWARE

  • Dive includes protective gloves and mesh bag, briefing and Dive Against Debris ID guide to know what to look for and collect, data sheets to analyse debris data.

Dive : Introduction to Reef Gardening

IDR 640,000 / per dive

  • Learn how to identify broken, overturned live corals that with our help, have a second chance of survival.

  • Learn how to safely pick up heavy corals and to find suitable substrate to transplant onto for the coral to attach to once overturned and secured.

  • Gain reef conservation skills you can take with you travelling and diving around the world

  • Dive includes all equipment including protective gloves and briefing on identification of corals to focus on and present reef state around the Gilis.

Ocean Quest Coral Propagation WorkShop

IDR 1,400,000  IDR 1,100,000 (snorkeling) | 1 Day

  • An entry level coral gardening workshop aimed at instilling a basic knowledge of coral propagation including its benefits to society and the environment

  • Important procedures and techniques taught for greater success rates in coral gardening including monitoring and care

  • 10 years or above

  • No diving experience necessary

Ocean Quest Coral Propagation Course

IDR 4,500,000 / 3 Days

  • Develop a deeper understanding of reef survey and coral propagation techniques including coral handling, substrate and broodstock extraction

  • Learn about nursery site selection, building and monitoring

  • Must be 12 years or above

  • Open Water Diver Certified with a minimum of 15 logged dives

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