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Conservation International x Rascal Voyages: Exploration Series

How this Brand-NGO Partnership has not only elevated community-driven ocean and marine-life conservation, but has also become a profitable business.

Ocean conservation has been a rapidly growing issue across the globe with tourism, overfishing and pollution causing huge losses to biodiversity and natural habitats.

In Indonesia, the negative impact of tourism on ocean wildlife and biodiversity has been more devastating than almost anywhere else in the world, and the need to restore and protect marine wildlife is now more urgent than ever.

In an innovative approach to help address this issue through sustainable business solutions, luxury yacht charter company Rascal Voyages teamed up with Conservation International to launch their new business initiatives: Exploration Series. This great collaboration gave Conservation International a chance to more effectively explore new and wider areas of ocean with more advanced equipment whilst offering guests a unique opportunity to offset their own negative footprint and be part of a greater cause. All whilst exploring some of the most beautiful oceans in the world.

“Come armed with some curiosity…and you end up with an incredible experience” David de Rothschild, Eco-explorer

An innovation-driven partnership…

The first expedition of the Exploration Series headed towards the Bird’s Head Seascape in 2018.

Led by Dr. Mark Erdmann, Conservation International’s Vice President of Asia-Pacific Marine Program, the yacht sailed to Raja Ampat, the “epicentre of marine biodiversity” to fill in knowledge gaps in the population and migration patterns of manta rays, as well as survey coral reef fish biodiversity.

Guests onboard the yacht were invited to observe and participate in the work conducted on manta rays and other marine wildlife, offering them a unique opportunity to be part of the cause and experience first-hand the true wonders and magnificence of the life below the surface.

proving how collaboration for a greater cause is both good for business and for the planet.

The expedition resulted in successful scientific headway with the discovery of two new manta cleaning stations, the addition of 25 new manta rays into the Bird’s Head Seascape manta ray database and the discovery of two new species of Goby, a small to medium sized ray-finned fish.

With brand new drone technology, they pioneered novel surveillance methods which has enabled greater insights into manta rays’ movement patterns and behaviours, offering valuable information when developing innovative and sustainable conservation solutions.

The future of tourism

This pioneering partnership is a testament to how the existing trend of eco-tourism is rapidly growing into sustainable tourism; where consumers can be a part of a cause and actively contribute to change for better. These partnerships and collaborations must be the future of tourism if we are to conserve and protect our planet while continuing to offer travellers the chance to explore and experience all that nature has to offer.

“It’s fantastic to be partnering with Conservation International, and we’re delighted that the recent trip led to scientific breakthroughs.” Erik Barreto, Co-Founder & Owner, Rascal Voyages

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