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The success of MERC programmes would only be realized if everyone plays a role in conserving our marine life. This forms the core function of MERC’s Environmental Education Programme which is to impart to every visitor the importance and the need to care and protect our sensitive marine ecosystems. School children and visitors alike are introduced to the beauty of coral reefs, their resident marine life as well as the threats they face.
MERC’s Environmental Education Programme was only recently extended to the villagers in Gaya Island, including students and teachers, after noting how important it is for the future leaders of the island communities to understand their role in protecting the marine environment, including adopting proper garbage and waste disposal methods. Understanding that reefs are a sanctuary to juvenile fish is another valuable lesson for local villagers – local fishermen would be less inclined to damage the very reefs that supply the fish needed to sustain and improve their livelihoods.
With its 30 seat auditorium, MERC also embarked on organizing public talks to raise awareness on marine issues. One such talk was ‘Sharks and Rays of Sabah, Malaysia’ which prompted the announcement that sharks fin would no longer be served to guests at Gayana Eco Resort’s Chinese restaurant, Alu Alu. Awareness raised from such talks is reinforced through long term commitment by MERC and its partners.