Turtle Research by Marine Research Foundation at Mantanani, Sabah, Borneo
At Borneo Dream we like to do our best to support local marine conservation efforts from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. One of the conservation organisations we support is Marine Research Foundation, led by Dr Nicholas Pilcher, which leads many marine research programmes in Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Nick Pilcher, MRF
One of the programmes led by Marine Research Foundation (MRF) is the Marine Turtle Programme. As part of this, Dr Nick Pilcher is carrying our research in the waters surrounding Pulau Mantanani. Pulau Mantanani is located around 48nm north of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in the South China Sea. Mantanani is recognised as feeding grounds for juvenile Turtles that have left the waters near Turtle Island (located off Sandakan in the Sulu Sea). The Turtles are known to stay here for several years until they become mature enough to head off on their first major migration.
Pulau Mantanani is not a protected marine area yet and there is known to be blast fishing in the waters surrounding the islands. Dr Nick is leading research to collect data on the impact of blast fishing on the local Turtle population. This data, along with other MRF turtle research activities, will hopefully provide the evidence to gain Government approval to protect the waters around Mantanani, Sabah (as a Marine Park).
Turtle Enclosure for Data Collection
MRF went to Mantanani at the start of August to collect further turtle research data. The Borneo Dream team provided manpower support to Dr Nick Pilcher over several days to help in the collection of research data. You can see photos taken during this recent trip – thanks to Nick / MRF for sharing photos with Borneo Dream.
Collecting Research Data
We look forward to supporting MRF during future Turtle Research trips to Mantanani, Sabah. To find out more about local marine conservation efforts we support from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah just contact the Borneo Dream team.
Supporting Turtle Research in Mantanani, Sabah, Borneo
Borneo Dream supports local marine conservation efforts on a regular basis from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. We recently provided two of our team to support Turtle Research being conducted in the waters surrounding Pulau Mantanani, 48nm north of Kota Kinabalu. The turtle research was being managed by MRF (Marine Research Foundation), under the leadership of Dr Nick Pilcher. Edrie, one of the Borneo Dream Team research volunteers, wrote a blog about her experience. Read more about the start to the Turtle Research activity below – despite a slow start lots of research was conducted, data gathered, building towards a proposal for protecting the waters around Pulau Mantanani, Sabah.
Collecting Turtle Research Data
“Myself and Ann were the early risers (no-earlier than Dr. Nick) and started the day with coffee and tea, respectively. In between sips, we would just look into the horizon and be in awe with the amazing beauty of Mantanani.
Looking around knowing there are about 200 sea turtles around, the need to make the project a successful one, and hope that the research will help to get Mantanani gazetted into a Marine Park, will be a dream come true . This means the turtles and marine life around Mantanani would be protected from over fishing and unwanted illegal fishing activity. Continue reading →
Turtle Research Project at Mantanani, Sabah, Borneo – Part I
After weeks of anticipation, it was finally the day to depart for Mantanani for a very special project.
I met up with the team of volunteers at the Sutera Harbour Marina where we were to meet with Dr. Nick Pilcher (from Marine Research Foundation) at 9.00am. Others in the group of volunteers from Kota Kinabalu were Gil Woolley, Richard MacNair and Ann Williams. Ann and I are volunteers from Borneo Dream.
We got around to Dr. Nick’s 4WD and helped him unload this massive net to load it up to the boat. Once on board Tortuga Madre (The large catamaran owned by Marine Research Foundation), Dr. Nick briefed us on getting around his double decker catamaran. A 3 bedroom catamaran with a kitchen, shower and an open deck on top. I was getting excited already. This would be a first experience for me on a liveonboard.
Enclosure for Turtle
From the Sutera Harbour Marina, the trip to Mantanani will take approximately 3 hours. In which, sleeping seems to be the best and recommended option as prescribed by Dr. Nick. I sat myself down close to the net and went on to nap as the clouds started to hover Kota Kinabalu city as we depart.
It was about 12.30pm when I started seeing bumps and whatnots from a distant. “I see a couple of islands ahead!” Gil acknowledged that we are nearing Mantanani. I pulled out the camera and went trigger happy as we near Mantanani Besar. It would be mine and Richard’s first trip and Gil’s second. Continue reading →
PADI Courses at Camp Mantanani, Sabah by Borneo Dream
The Borneo Dream Team is having a busy few weeks during July – August running PADI courses for Camp Borneo students staying at Camp Mantanani.
Pulau Mantanani is located on the west coast of Sabah and is approx. 48 nautical miles north west from Kota Kinabalu (the capital city of Sabah). Camp Mantanani is located on the south side of the main island at Mantanani and is home to shallow coral reefs with stunning visibility in the surround tropical waters. When the sea is calm it really is a stunning place to learn to dive and go scuba diving.
Diving over coral reefs at Mantanani
The Borneo Dream team is running PADI Open Water Diver Courses, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses and leisure diving for Camp Borneo students staying at Pulau Mantanani over the coming weeks. You can see some photos from PADI dive courses they have already completed at Mantanani.
We’ll keep you updated in future blogs on more scuba diving madness from Mantanani :).
If you would like to learn to dive, or go scuba diving, during your holiday in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia then just contact the Borneo Dream team.
The Borneo Dream Team left yesterday morning in our 9m x 3 RIB to travel up to Pulau Mantanani.It was an overcast morning in Kota Kinabalu but that did nothing to dampen the mood of a very excited team. It was our first time this year visiting Mantanani to run PADI courses for Camp Mantanani (part of Camp Borneo) and our PADI Instructors were really looking forward to teaching the students to dive in the tropical waters of Mantanani, Sabah.
Confined Skills Session at Mantanani
Pulau Mantanani is located 45nm north west of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The boat transfer in our RIB was fairly uneventful for the ‘Wet Season’ – which is good! The sea state was calm up to the end of Tuaran Beach (a 1/3 of the way), they then enjoyed riding the RIB through a 2m rolling swell for the rest of the journey. After a 1 hour 15 minute boat transfer they arrived in the sheltered, shallow turquoise waters on the protected south side of Mantanani island. Greeting them was Aida, the Camp Mantanani Manager, and the 9 students spending two weeks at the Camp. Continue reading →