Making a Difference at Murex Dive Resorts

Read on to understand why Sarah Ann Wormald, a writer and employee of one of our partners Murex Dive Resorts, is inspired daily by their ethos and conservation efforts.

  • As someone who has been fortunate enough to live in Indonesia for the last 12 years and to have dived across this stunning archipelago, people often ask me what draws me to North Sulawesi. The answer for me is easy; incredibly diverse diving which covers everything from reefs and walls through to the world’s best muck diving; amazing people; and at Murex Dive Resorts I have found a like-minded team who are willing to go the extra mile to conserve their stunning natural environments.

    Murex have been in business for over 30 years which really speaks for itself, they are the true pioneers of diving in North Sulawesi. But, that’s not the reason I work there, I wasn’t living in Indonesia 30 years ago and I probably hadn’t heard of Sulawesi, but what I do know is that they never stopped being pioneers and are as much pioneers today as they ever have been – and to be a part of that is really quite incredible.

    Like most divers, I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean, and like most divers, I want to protect what I love. Murex don’t just practice conservation because it’s good for business or the trend of the times, they practice conservation and sustainability because they love the ocean. The company was founded by Dr. Hans Batuna who discovered many of the dive sites in North Sulawesi and then became instrumental in the creation of the Bunaken Marine Park, because he found something beautiful and wanted to take care of it.

    Murex really don’t follow trends – they set them, and that’s exciting.

  • Plastic reduction is at the forefront of media at the moment and banning plastic straws, plastic bags and plastic bottles is mentioned in marketing for resorts, hotels and coffee shops around the world – Murex replaced their water bottle in guests’ rooms with reusable dispensers years ago. They don’t wait to hear what’s the latest news – they’ve already done it.

    Of course, there is a heavy focus on plastic reduction, not only is waste sorted but from Murex Bangka, the plastic is stored until there is enough to warrant shipping to mainland Sulawesi from where it is taken to Surabaya – Indonesia’s main plastic recycling hub. It’s not just a case of taking out the trash in North Sulawesi, responsible trash disposal can require, boats, cars, truck and cargo carriers, but that doesn’t stop Murex from finding a way to make it happen.

    I absolutely encourage anyone who stays on Murex Bangka to walk to the top of the hill behind the resort and take a look at the solar panel installation. Then turn around, look back down the hill and across the ocean and imagine the effort, blood, sweat and tears that went into transporting 38 extremely heavy yet fragile panels across the water and up the hill without the use of industrial lifting machinery. That’s when you really start to recognize the efforts which they are going to in order to make a difference.

    Murex Manado has a small river which passes through the resort before entering the ocean. The river runs from the high ground behind the resort, through several villages along the way. Murex see conservation and marine protection as everyone’s responsibility, not some else’s fault. Their latest initiative is a river cleaning program whereby they clean debris and plastic from the river bed, prior to the waste even reaching the ocean. It’s not a nice job – but the alternative is to allow plastic to wash out, and that isn’t even seen as an option.

  • I could write reams about their beach and underwater cleanups which don’t just happen on “World Oceans Day” or “World Cleanup Day”, they happen on a regular schedule regardless. I could mention the education program which they have in place for local staff to ensure they learn about conservation, English language, industry skills and how they all have opportunities to progress. I could tell you about the Head Dive Guide who has been employed for over 20 years and started work at Murex as the Security Guard, or the Dive Guides who have started as gardeners with no English skills. I could tell you about my own personal development and how much I have learned about taking care of local communities because once they believe they can make a difference, change is possible.

    But my words can not do justice to the efforts that are made and they cannot effectively communicate the team spirit, the camaraderie and the dedication to protecting and conserving this stunning region of Indonesia. Honestly, for that, you need to see it with your own eyes – and it’s a sight that continues to inspire me – I hope it will do the same for every diver who is fortunate enough to visit.

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