By joining this program, you will help us conduct tropical coral reef and seagrass research on the beautiful Perhentian islands. These islands are well worth a visit for the biodiversity and deserve to be sustained for future generations to enjoy.
If you have never dived before, you will conduct your PADI at one of the local shops before starting your volunteering experience. The main goal of the project is to map and assess the health of the seagrass beds, coral reefs and other habitats around the islands.
- Work with researchers, to help collect data on seagrass beds, corals reefs and artificial reefs in the Perhentian Islands
- Help preserve countless species on the number one island location in Malaysia
- Discover and understand the local culture of Malaysia
- Enjoy Fuze Ecoteer lead school expeditions throughout Malaysia
What to Expect
Your project is based at two locations – the village and the Turtle Beach. You will follow a 3 day rota where you swap location.
Morning: Volunteers arrive at Safe Park Holidays office, Kuala Besut jetty. Boat transfer to the Coral View (Pulau Perhentian Besar).
Afternoon: Briefing and orientation: project overview and code of conduct, a tour around the local area and shops and water confidence session (learn the dos and don’ts of snorkeling plus how to wear the life jacket & snorkel gear).
Evening: Dinner, marine presentation & rest.
Morning: Sea turtle photo ID snorkel survey – You would normally kayak over to the desired location for the survey and swim searching for turtles for at least 2 hours.
Afternoon : rest and data analysis, cultural activities such as Learning how to make local snacks.
Evening : Free
Afternoon : Snorkel Photo ID Session at the turtle beach and talk to the tourists that visit the beach. You may also help with hatchery duties.
Evening : Turtle watch on rota
SNORKEL ID SESSION
The scutes (scales) on the flippers and the side of a green turtles face are unique to each individual. In collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Cambridge University, UK, we collect photos of the sea turtles on nesting beaches and at sea whilst snorkelling. With each photo we also collect extra data such as location, time, date, male/female etc. We then use the software developed by Cambridge University to identify each photo against a database of previously identified individuals. If new turtles are discovered then you get to name your new turtle. The information that this research gathers is vital for conservation measures as we will be able to identify population numbers of male and female turtles, identify hotspots where conservation efforts need to be focused and also movement patterns of the turtles. The data will then be used by decision makers to design the Marine Park Zonation Plan.
You will help to collect non-invasive photos of nesting sea turtles at beaches around the Perhentian Islands. The photos that you collect will help our researchers to establish nesting patterns of sea turtles in the Perhentian Islands. Additionally, unfortunately poachers still occasionally collect eggs from the beaches around the islands. The government staff travel around the islands but they are sometimes too late and poachers have already taken the eggs. Your role is to guard the beach and when a turtle comes to nest inform the government official who will then collect the eggs and safely protect them in their official hatchery. We established a similar programme at another turtle nesting beach in the islands and just the presence of people on the beaches often deterred poachers from landing on the beach. The initial project with Bubbles is still ongoing, so your presence will ensure more that 2 turtle nesting beaches are protected in the Perhentian islands.
- 3 meals per day
- Dormitory accommodation
- Marine park fee
- Return Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands
- Minimum 8 dives per week
What's Not Included
- International/ domestic flights
- Travel insurance
Housing & Meals
You will be staying in a traditional Malay house in the middle of the one and only village on the smaller of the Perhentian Islands – Perhentian Kecil. Your stay in this adorable little village everyone will welcome you with open arms. Here you will have the unique opportunity to experience Malay culture, try the most delicious Malay food, hang out with the ladies and play with the kids (if you want).
When you go to the turtle beach, things get a bit more rustic. What more to wish for than sleeping under the stars with the sound of the ocean in the background. If you don’t want to sleep on the beach itself, you can dream away in a hammock or get comfortable in our beach hut. The beach hut is very simple but sand free and has air mattresses.
Daily meals are provided and allow participants the opportunity to experience Malay culture and cuisine.