“The Dorsal Effect, in full effect..”

I had the recent good fortune to attend a day trip run by Kathy and the Dorsal Effect. As an avid Ocean conservationist and Conservation Photographer I had been working on my own project around Indonesia when I heard about the work of this group. It is such a rewarding thing to see people taking the time and effort into helping impoverished fishing communities to look at embracing a better more sustainable path for future income and revenue streams. We always say “Children are the future” that especially resounds when it comes to children being raised in communities with little, if any, understanding of the impact their fishing actions have on the balance of their local Ocean environment.

The day starts out with a trip to see the problem. The fish market at Tanjung Luar can, at times, offer up distressing scenes of large sharks, manta rays and even cetaceans being landed and processed. It certainly requires a strong stomach. But this is the issue the Dorsal Effect is looking to combat. By seeing the negatives of the problem you are then able to witness the positives, chat with the boat captains that have been enticed to change. Visit and witness the local environs including some spectacular options for SCUBA diving with a licensed and local professional dive guide. All in all it is a day that will allow you to see and discuss the issues with the attendees and also with Kathy or a member of The Dorsal Effect team.

I heartily recommend people take this trip when they travel to this part of the World. Not only will it open your eyes into the issues facing the region but it will also contribute so positively to the families that are willing to embrace change. And change has to start somewhere…

Well done Kathy and all the folks at The Dorsal Effect, a job well done.


“Untouched corals, beaches and also for a good cause!”

Started off the trip walking through the fish market and saw a hammerhead about 2.5m long lifeless. We took a boat out into the ocean to arrive at a little sandy island, though we weren’t able to see any starfish, we did discovered a little hermit which was too shy to come and greet us. There were also a few shells of dead starfish which was imprinted with a star. We hopped on a boat and it brought us to 2 snorkel sites. The 2 snorkeling sites were fantastic. The reefs were very alive, colourful with touches of green, brown, red and blue and the fishes were swimming all over like in an aquarium except without the tank. We went to a pink beach where the grains of the sand had a special mix of white and red. A sign pointed to an old cannon left behind from war. Though the cannon was old and rusty, but it was the journey there that was great. We were at a cliff overlooking the sea. The cliff was like quay lapis and most people would have thought its Australia if shown a picture of it. On the way back, we saved a cute little baby starfish from drying up on the sand. It’s really an enjoyable boat trip and I would strongly recommend it. The guide was very friendly and at times funny which made the trip so much more enjoyable.


“Holiday with a cause”

I had a wonderful experience on the boat trip that the Dorsal Effect offered. Island hopping and exploring deserted islands reminds me of my video gaming days. In addition, before setting off on the boat trip, we went to the abattoir where fishermen displayed and sell their haul of sharks to the highest bidder. It was not a pretty sight but it offers one a glimpse of the sharks trade. You can do your part in stopping this act of cruelty by supporting the Dorsal Effect so that these fishermen can have an alternative source of income.


“Best Day Ever!”

I will always remember this amazing experience I had in Lombok. There is nothing more satisfying than being a part of something beautiful, fun and meaningful. It was one of the most chill, care-free days of my life-swimming/snorkling/cloud gazing/cliff climbing/smiles and conversations-and being able to witness firsthand Kathy’s passion and dedication to her world changing efforts. Thank you for giving me this experience–truly a breath of fresh air.

from someone who loves to have braids in my hair and no shoes on my feet–Lombok has the best vibes 🙂

Krisinder K

“Paradise with a Cause”

Forget Bali. Lombok is the place to be.

I joined The Dorsal Effect’s ecotrip after nearly two years of not travelling. I had heard of Kathy Xu’s cause and was just dying to support it.

My opportunity came up in Mar 2014, albeit only for two short nights. But what a trip it was.

For those seeking easy luxury, this may not be for you. What you can get though, is very decent accommodation at a great price in the Kuta District (I stayed at the Family House), and an unforgettable day-long snorkelling adventure.

Our trip started at the local fishmarket, where Kathy scrutinised the shark catch for the day. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it sure drove the message across. Strewn across the floor lay dead Hammerheads and grey sharks. About 20 in total. They called it a ‘bad day’.

With that image imprinted on our minds, we were led to a fishing boat manned by a local crew. And before we knew it, we were transported to paradise.

Mount Rinjani (third largest volcano in Indonesia) rose majestically in the horizon, cloud-free and utterly beautiful. Our first stop was ‘pink beach’ a tiny islet that was usually submerged at high tide. We were in for a treat through, the tide was low and we could walk on the beach. We went scouting for starfish and seashells amidst unbelievably crystal clear waters.

Kathy and team then took us to our first snorkelling destination – and we splashed off to explore. One tip here – the snorkelling gear privided on the boat is a little worn – so you may want to bring your own, to ensure a comfy fit.

Bring some vinegar too. This is in case you brush against floating weeds or pieces of broken coral, that may cause a reaction when in contact with skin. This is quite common in many snorkelling site.

I am a little spoiled – my first snorkelling experience was in the Maldives – so in the waters of Lombok, you do see many species of coral and fish, but not in profusion. it’s still gorgeous enough for you to wish that sharks could always remain in the ocean where they belong.

Kathy and crew took us to three different spots, encircling parts of Lombok. We had lunch on a deserted beach. And climbed hills and cliffs to be rewarded with breathtaking views.

Towards the evening, we headed back to the now-deserted fish market, where we disembarked. The sand there was black, polluted with oil from the fishing boats. I remember feeling so sad at the stark contrast to what I had just experienced on the trip – untouched natural beauty.

SarahIn Singapore

“An amazing day out”

The Dorsal Effect’s tour combines the reality of the shark markets with some fun snorkeling and seeing the amazing scenery near Tanjung Luar. I knew previously that about 100 million sharks are killed each year, many for their fins, but seeing the Tanjung Luar shark market and shark auction was still an eye-opener. The trip wasn’t just about these grim realities, though. We took a boat out to beautiful islands where we could swim or snorkel, plus see more of Lombok. We also saw starfish and a variety of marine animals. Our local guides were great, and Kathy also provided a wealth of information. If you’re in Lombok, check it out!


“Hidden Treasures”

Kathy and Argun are the best travel guides! Most importantly, you’ll gain access to some of Lombok’s hidden treasures, like the pink sand beach, and the island that disappears during high tide. the day starts off early, with a visit to the local fish market. This is the most important part of the eco-tour, as it shows you first hand, why and where your money is actually going into. For the next few hours, we were taking into some of the best snorkelling sites around lombok, where there were few visitors except us!

Would highly recommend Kathy and the Dorsal Effect to travellers who know and believe that their tourist dollars should help protect the environment, without sacrificing on the quality of the trip. 🙂


“Boat Trip with a Message of Awareness”

The fish market visit coupled with snorkeling in clear blue sea and waterfall trekking, is a well balanced trip which brings fun and awareness of the over feeding of sharks. We have friendly guides who answer to your needs and laid back Lombok lifestyle which complete a stress free trip for me. It’s worth going again with the beautiful nature awaits you. Bali is too commercialised and crowded, Lombok is more peaceful and untouched.
If you are curious to find out more, just drop a mail to Kathy or The Dorsal Effect. Love sharks, nature and serenity, this is the trip.

Lisa F

“Beautiful coral reefs and wonderful company”

Snorkelling on the coral reefs blew my mind, amazingly beautiful and healthy reef life. The crew were all so kind and friendly and we had a beautiful traditional lunch on the beach. A huge thank you to Agus you made this an extra special experience.


“For a good cause”

It’s for a good cause – that’s why we were willing to fork out the high prices (hopefully the venture pays off despite the prices). The sights were amazing – snorkeling in remote and utterly beautiful waters. The corals were extensive and colourful. We also felt safe when the boatman and guide went down to snorkel with us – we saw an underwater cave!! Keep up the good work!