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KUALA LUMPUR, MAY 2019 – Berjaya Hotels & Resorts (“BHR”) signed memorandum of understanding (“MoU”) with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (“UMT”) to set up Malaysia’s first-of-its-kind Sea Turtle Research Unit (“SEATRU”) Turtle Lab at The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort, Redang Island (“The Taaras”). Following the signing of MoU at the recent Redang Island Conservation Day 2019 (“RICD 2019”) event held at The Taaras, both parties have agreed to promote and develop education programs, research and campaigns related to the sustainability of sea turtle conservation efforts in Redang.
Prof. Dr. Mazlan Abd. Ghaffar, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), signed the MoU on behalf of UMT, in the presence of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aidy @ Mohamed Shawal bin M. Muslim, the Director of Institute of Oceanography and Environment. In agreement, Mondi Mecja, the Commercial Head of BHR, signed in the presence of Pravir Mishra, the Area General Manager of The Taaras.
Berjaya Corporation (“BCorp”) has collaborated with SEATRU since 1993. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan, the founder of BCorp, has supported SEATRU’s efforts by establishing this Turtle Lab, allowing in-house guests the opportunity to witness sea turtle conservation first-hand during their vacation in Redang. The laboratory and facilities were sponsored by The Taaras. Meanwhile, SEATRU provides the required manpower and equipment for experimental setup.
The Turtle Lab serves as a centre that conducts research on sea turtle hatchling. Digging activity and swimming activity are the two main research experiments that are currently being carried out here. The objective of studying digging activity is to quantify the energetic costs of the hatchlings during their nest escaping process when incubated in different types of sand. By knowing the energy required for the digging activity, condition for better digging performance can be determined and the scientific finding can be used to improve hatchery management. Meanwhile, swimming activity examines the hatchling’s swimming speed and swimming behaviour after being incubated in different types of sand. This experiment aims to identify which sand type will produce more active and fitter hatchlings before they start to swim continuously and feed independently in the open sea.
“We’re glad that this collaboration with UMT can provide us with the required knowledge and expertise to do better for Mother Nature. With the research project being carried out in the lab, our guests can learn more about sea turtle conservation. During the hatching season, they can help to release hatchlings into the sea too. This kind of hands-on experience will definitely instill the need of protecting the sea turtles,” said Mondi Mecja.
Those who are interested to adopt a sea turtle may contribute RM100 as adoption costs to SEATRU. Alternatively, one can learn more about this adoption program at seatru.umt.edu.my or speak to the researchers at the Turtle Lab located at The Taaras for more information.
Name: William Tan (Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications)
Direct line: +603 2149 1957
Name: Kae Shyan (Assistant Manager of Corporate Marketing & Communications)
Direct line: +603 2149 1912
About Berjaya Hotels & Resorts
Berjaya Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Berjaya Corporation Group of Companies, a public listed Malaysian conglomerate. Presently, the group manages Berjaya properties in Malaysia, Asia Pacific and UK. From exotic island resorts to city hotels, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts’ prominence extends across borders with the establishment of international hotels and resorts in the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, United Kingdom and Japan. For more information, visit www.berjayahotel.com