RRC@INOS Open Day : Discover A World Under the Sea

Written by: Izwandy Idris

The South China Sea Repository and Reference Centre (RRC), INOS, in collaboration with the Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), USA, and UNIQLO Malaysia, has organised RRC@INOS Open Day with the theme ‘Discover A World Under the Sea: Stories from the South China Sea’ from 12th until 16th June 2022. This program was formulated as part of the World Ocean Week (WOW) 2022 celebration by UMT. The overarching goal, theme, or aim of RRC@INOS Open Day is to disseminate information on the natural wealth of the ocean ,and subsequently inculcate appreciation, interest, and awareness of protecting Malaysia’s underwater ecosystem. This is in lieu with the RRC main objectives to complete the inquiry, discovery and learning processes related to the marine environment.

The open day’s main activity was the INOS Research Gallery exhibition. Apart from the current exhibits, ten additional information stations were set up by students of Biological Systematics of Marine Organisms and assisted by the RRC Volunteers. Most of the students’ exhibitions focused on Malaysia’s marine species. The exhibition received an overwhelming response from the audience. More than 3000 students from 21 schools across Terengganu visited the gallery within five days, which was two folds more than the expectation by the RRC. Visitors were amazed at the diversity of marine organisms in Malaysian waters, reflected by the response to the engagement done by UMT students and volunteers. Apart from the exhibition, the RRC@INOS Open Day also included virtual SOA talks by SOA representatives around the globe, INOS Seminar Series on natural history repositories, treasure hunt, and quizzes.

The success of the RRC@Open Day 2022 indicates the positive future of marine conservation in Malaysia. More younger Malaysians are aware of the marine ecosystem, threats, and their contribution to minimising the impacts.