Marine SIG had a shark-terrific time

Report and photos by Mnsmarine

Marine SIG joined hands with other special interest groups of the MNS Selangor Branch to celebrate World Environment Day and MNS Open Day on 5th June 2016 at the Shah Alam National Botanical Park. From shark quizzes to whale origami and getting people to pledge to abstain from eating shark fin’s soup, the volunteers from the Aquatic Science Student Association did a grand job! The rest of the MNS Marine SIG volunteers took care of the merchandise sale and to promote the upcoming free documentary screening Shark Girl.

The Open Day concluded with a vegetarian buffet spread at the poolside for all volunteers.

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Marine Group at MNS Open Day

Date: 5th June 2016
Time: 8:30am – 1pm

Venue: Visitor’s Centre, Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam

It’s World Environment Day – perfect time to share Malaysia’s biodiversity with you all under one roof!

Come on by our Marine Group booth if you wish to:
* Say hello!
* Wall of Knowledge: Who’s the Marine Group and what is the My Fin My Life campaign all about.
* Sign your pledge to not eat shark fin’s soup
* Craft-a-Whale origami activity for only RM2 or…
* …answer the on-the-spot Shark Quiz correctly to receive a complimentary Craft-a-Whale activity!
* Always wanted to know more about what lives inside a mangrove forest? Get the hardy and handy “Mangroves of Peninsular Malaysia – a guide to commonly seen species” at RM5 each, proceeds to the Marine Group fund for educational projects.
* Fins – Best on Sharks – after discount Ladies T-shirt (RM20) and Kid’s size (RM10).

There will be other Special Interest Groups of MNS Selangor Branch as well: Bird, Nature Guides, Green Living, Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians), Cave, and Photography. MYCAT will also be present if you want to find out more about citizen conservation initiatives.

All are welcome. Entrance tickets to Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam costs RM3 for adults and RM1 for children/seniors. Free entry for children under 6 years old. MNS members can enter for free (just remember to bring your membership card.)

Other highlights:
* register early for a chance at a door gift
* bring your swimsuit if you want a dip/swim in the swimming pool
* free plant giveaways thanks to the Free Tree Society Kuala Lumpur
* test your Green Living knowledge in an Eco IQ Hunt!
* bird-watching trip at 7.30am by the Bird Group. Registration details are at https://www.facebook.com/events/1725221024433259. The meeting point is at the car park near the main entrance.
* explore the botanical park attractions

Venue is sponsored by TBNSA.

 

 

 

Marine SIG at Tanjung Tuan

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2016
Venue: Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest, Malacca

Marine SIG’s booth will be at Tanjung Tuan Recreational Forest (border of Malacca and Port Dickson) on March 12 from 0900-1700. Find out what is the ‪#‎myfinmylife‬ all about and register for the snorkeling trip at Tenggol.

Talk: CITES – What does it do for wildlife protection?

Date: 26 February 2013
Time: 8 – 10 pm
Venue: Auditorium, Malaysian Nature Society HQ, JKR 641 Jalan Kelantan, Bukit Persekutuan, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Cost: Free and open to the public (no prior registration required)
Speaker: Dr. Ronald I. Orenstein

CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Today, CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.

Between 3rd and 15th of March 2013, the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to CITES will take place in Bangkok, Thailand.  There are proposals for increased protection for African elephants, polar bears, white rhinos, West African manatees, manta rays and sharks.

Canadian Dr. Ronald I. Orenstein will be attending the above conference and he is here to give us a general overview of CITES and the upcoming conference.

Dr. Orenstein is a zoologist, lawyer, wildlife conservationist, naturalist and birder who has written extensively on a wide variety of ecology and conservation issues.

For enquiries, please contact Lim Wai Kong at 012-393 5189 or e-mail him at drwklim(at)yahoo(dot)com if you need further details. This talk is organised by the MNS Bird Group (Selangor Branch).

My Unforgetable Experience at Tioman Island

Story by Effendi Wong Bin Abdullah
Photo by Khor Hui Min

I found out about the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) through the local newspaper. So I went to the MNS website to explore further and found that they actually organise trips to local places of interest. I decided on the “Explore Tioman by Sea & Land” trip organised by the MNS Marine SIG and Nature Guides, and started to write to the organizer, Hui Min. Eventually, I signed up for the trip.

khorhuimin-Tioman_0582

We reached Mersing around 5.30am on Friday, 1 July 2011. We took the boat at 6.30am to Juara Mutiara Resort, reaching the resort around 9am. After checking in and freshening up, we headed for an early lunch. After that, we got our snorkelling gear from the resort to practise at the beach before snorkeling from the boat at sea the next day. We were very lucky to have Adeline, an experienced instructor, to guide us on how to snorkel and the do’s and don’ts. It was an eye-opening experience for most of us.

In the evening, we went for a night trek. Armed with torchlights, we went into the jungle with some local guides, hoping to spot some mousedeer and other animals. At one point, the guide asked all of us to switch off our torchlights. He showed us the reflection of a mousedeer’s eyes from his torchlight. We were all very excited. The trek was about 2 hours long and we were all quite thrilled.

The next morning, we woke up in anticipation for a fun day snorkelling out at sea. Our first stop was the Marine Park jetty, followed by Coral Island. The island took our breath away! The corals and fishes were very colourful and beautiful. We developed an extremely good appetite, and everyone enjoyed the BBQ dinner.

The next day, we went to Kg. Asah waterfall by boat. The cool water was very refreshing. With some time remaining, we headed to the jetty for some snorkelling. Unexpectedly, we saw many jellyfish in the water and our instructor Adeline asked us all to come out to avoid getting stung.

Then, around 3pm, we set off to look for the famed Rafflesia of Tioman. The guide, Pak Lan, is very experienced and explained to us about the various plants in the jungle. We were worried that we would not see a bloom, because these flowers only last for a few days. However, we did see an amazing Rafflesia flower. No words can describe the beauty of the popular flower. Satisfied, we went back to our resort and did a beach clean-up at the relatively clean Juara beach before dinner. When we finished, we were shocked that we had accumulated 7 large bags of trash which mainly consists of plastic, cigarette butts, tin cans, ropes and Styrofoam boxes.

On 4 July morning, we went to Tekek for some duty free shopping and boarded the ferry back to Mersing. It was indeed one of the most enjoyable experiences for me and I will definitely be back!

Dive in to Earth Day 2011

Story by Si Penyu
Photos by Ilyas Sapiyan and Si Penyu

When Hui Min said she needed volunteers for the “Dive in to the Earth Day 2011” programme (23-26 April), I did not hesitate to join. I wanted to meet new friends and also get first-hand experience educating school children on our environment. But, boy! I got more than that at the end of the trip!

I carpooled with Hui Min, Phoon and Fiona. We spent a night at Mersing and met the rest of the participants – Jeff, Carol, Wan Yeng, Teik Gee, Owen and Cheng Tuan at Mersing Jetty the next morning. The ferry ride took us another two hours to reach Tioman. My reaction when I saw Panuba for the first time was “wow!” 


Later that afternoon, while the others geared up for their first dive, Hui Min, Phoon, Fiona, Ilyas and I headed to Sekolah Kebangsaan Tekek to conduct a half-day programme for the kids. 

Hui Min asked me to become the emcee for the event! I’ve never emceed in my life before! I was nervous at the beginning and finally gained confidence as the kids were responsive and did not disappoint me one bit! 

The programmed kick-started with a talk on “Hutan Hujan Tropika” by Ilyas. Later, there was a drawing competition themed “Haiwan dan Persekitarannya,” an environmental-themed game, tea break and a beach cleanup.
SiPenyu-2011_TiomanBeachCleanUp
I’ve been contemplating taking up the Advanced course for a while now and finally signed up. I was assigned to Juergen Koch and got to choose three specialty dives and two compulsory dives (Deep Dive and Navigation Dive). I did three dives for the first day, including a night dive. Juergen made sure that I was comfortable with the dive site before taking me to my first night dive. He even tested me on finding my own way back beneath the bubbles before my night dive.

The next day was the anticipated deep dive. I finally got to dive with the rest of the crew. We went to Soyak wreck. It was nerve-wrecking as we descended. It took a while before I could see the bottom. After two days and five dives, I’m now a certified Advanced Open Water Diver!

One of the most memorable dives that we did was the unintentional “Search and Rescue” dive at the Marine Park. The visibility was bad. After a while, we realised that we had lost three divers. Juergen finally decided to ascend and abandon the dive. So lesson learnt in this dive: (1) always follow the divemaster, (2) if you get lost, ascend and abandon the dive. But in our case, since our tanks weren’t even half empty and Juergen is an experienced divemaster, we descended again as soon as Juergen saw the bubbles of the missing divers underwater. We communicated through sound, by tapping on the tanks and the diving slates! We finally found them and continued the “Search and Rescue” dive and found a man with an umbrella underwater!
On the last night at Panuba, we had a BBQ. Hui Min did a great job preparing the food. Chicken, fish, potato and corn (I never knew Carrefour’s corn was so yummy!). We did another two dives the next day before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. We reached KL around 10.30pm. It was a great trip! Yes, I did meet new friends. Best of all, is that we share the same interest – diving, nature and photography! Thanks to Hui Min for organising such a great event! Hope to see you guys again in the near future!

Explore Tioman by Sea & Land

Dates: 1-4 July 2011 (Fri-Mon)
Location: Tioman Island
Cost: RM460 for members, RM530 for non-members (includes 1-year MNS membership).

MNS Marine SIG and the Nature Guides are organising a joint 4D/3N trip to Tioman Island, promising an unforgettable experience for naturalists and city slickers alike. Over a 4-day period, you will stay at Juara Mutiara Resort, enjoy two days of snorkelling, a morning trek to look for the famed Rafflesia, and a trek to a lovely waterfall. Besides that, the “night life” enthusiast will find the night spotting walk exciting indeed. What are you trying to spot at night? Well, we hope to see a mousedeer or two.

What’s included in the package?

4D/3N triple-sharing accommodation with air-con, Tioman round trip ferry ride, return land transport (Tekek – Juara – Tekek), all meals (breakfast + lunch + Dinner + BBQ Dinner), two days of snorkelling, three jungle walks, a visit to the Marine Park building area, a visit to Tekek (where you can do your duty-free shopping).

Tekek School KPA Programme

Each time the Marine SIG organises a trip to Tioman, a programme will be conducted for the Kelab Pencinta Alam at Tekek Primary School. Your trip payment will help to sponsor this programme, which includes a talk/ slide show, some arts & crafts fun, a beach clean-up, and a tea break.

To book your place, please pay a deposit of RM100 by 1 June 2011. For more information about this trip, and to register, please contact Khor Hui Min (017-881 7714, khor.hm@gmail.com). Places are limited, so book your spot soon!