Whales On-The-Wheels Marine Education Mobile Event

By Azwarina M. Azmi Ramasamy

Behind the scenes of this ground-breaking initiative is Dr. Louisa Ponnampalam, the Executive Director, and Co-Founder of MareCet. As a local NGO conducting scientific research and conservation activities related to marine mammals in Malaysia, MareCet, under Dr. Ponnampalam’s leadership, continues to make significant strides in promoting marine conservation awareness.

In 2019, MareCet embarked on a mission to bridge the gap between the public and the wonders of our marine environment through the initiation of the Whales On-The-Wheels Marine Education Mobile Event. This innovative project aims not only to enhance public understanding of marine ecosystems but also to advocate for marine conservation practices.


Nationwide Marine Education Tour sponsorship from Yayasan Sime Darby

MareCet’s vision received a significant boost through sponsorship from Yayasan Sime Darby. This support enables the continuation and expansion of the Whales On-The-Wheels program throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Since February 2022, the program has been making waves, fostering a deeper understanding of marine conservation among Malaysians.

The Whales On-The-Wheels program made a splash at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) in collaboration with the South China Sea Reference and Repository Center (RRC), INOS. The event, titled “Whales On-The-Wheels – A Nationwide Mobile Marine Education Tour,” took place on the 18th of July 2023 (Tuesday) from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. The venue for this marine education initiative was Dataran Tapak Konvokesyen at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). The program aimed to engage participants in an immersive experience and raise awareness about marine conservation among students, UMT residents, and the general public. At the heart of this endeavour is the captivating ‘Whale Truck,’ a mobile hub of interactive marine education.


The Whale Truck Experience

The ‘Whale Truck’ is not your ordinary vehicle; it’s a rolling marine education centre designed to captivate hearts and minds. Outfitted with various learning stations, the 17-foot, 3-ton box truck is a miniature marine laboratory on wheels. Visitors can explore a marine mammal photo gallery, delve into information-sharing corners, and participate in the ‘Be A Dolphin Researcher’ experience. The truck also features a marine debris nightmare learning corner, a photo booth for memorable moments, and a kid colouring corner to engage the younger generation.

The ultimate goal is to take the ‘Whale Truck’ on a tour across different locations in Peninsular Malaysia. By doing so, MareCet aspires to “bring the ocean” to people, reaching out to school students, local communities, and the general public. Through this unique initiative, MareCet aims to raise awareness and kindle interest and appreciation for our marine biodiversity, the ocean, and its precious resources.

In conclusion, MareCet’s Whales On-The-Wheels Marine Education Mobile Event represents a giant leap forward in fostering a connection between Malaysians and the marine world. By taking education on the road, MareCet is not just raising awareness but actively contributing to the preservation of our precious marine ecosystems. Join us on this journey as we bring the ocean to your doorstep and inspire a generation of marine conservation enthusiasts.

Preparation of the truck and canopy for the marine awareness program, Whales On-The-Wheels.

Pictures from the Whales On-The-Wheels exhibition that has been conducted.