A Date with Turtles in Redang Island, Malaysia

A Date with Turtles in Redang Island, Malaysia

Last year, Scuba Amigo, and co-organizers, Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) and Redang Pelangi organized the “International Cleanup Day” in September 2010 at Redang Island, Malaysia to support PROJECT AWARE. The project was a successful one. Hence, we came back with a bang this year, organizing “A Date with Turtles” catering to both divers and non-divers, which turned out a bigger success! 125 participants signed up this year for the project which was held, 9 – 11 September 2011, again at Redang Pelangi, Redang Island. Participants included 10 crew members of Scuba Amigo, 4 coordinators from MNS and SEATRU and 2 reporters from The New Straits Times press. The objective of the project was to create awareness of turtle conservation, therefore seeing the involvement of the Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) in our project. Participants registered upon arrival at the resort and received a Scuba Amigo mesh bag each, containing our specially designed “A Date with Turtles” tee, flyers and stickers courtesy of Project AWARE Foundation. 10 September 2011, Saturday : Participants were gathered and divided into 4 boats before being brought to Chagar Hutang for a tour at the SEATRU Turtle Sanctuary. There, they were allowed hands on experience with harvesting turtle eggs, where baby turtles were seen emerging from the eggs. The baby turtles were collected in a tub and were to be released that night by volunteers at the sanctuary. This according to the SEATRU coordinator, was to reduce casualty of the baby turtles. The activities appealed not only to the children participants, but also to many adults who were very much fascinated by the turtle eggs harvesting. Apart from the visit to Chagar Hutang, other activities that were organized and prepared for participants were leisure diving, snorkeling and skit presentation where participants were required to act out whatever they have learnt about turtle conservation in the most creative way. Videos were also screened to enlighten participants about turtle conservation and the alarming issue of shark finning. Participants were also presented with certificate of participation in our PROJECT AWARE. All in all, our PROJECT AWARE was once again a success this year as we managed to create awareness on Turtle Conservation and also Shark Finning among our participants. Special thanks to MNS and other co-organizers and all volunteers.