Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Marine Volunteer Training Workshop 2015

Dates: June 12-13 (Fri—Sat)

Join MNS Marine Group (Selangor Branch) for its two-parter World Oceans Day celebrations!

We will be conducting a 1-night, 1 morning workshop in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan from 12-13th June 2015 for MNS members who wish to volunteer at our annual World Oceans Day event.

You will learn about marine life, fish identification, animal symbiosis, how to conduct a low-tide beach walk, how to carry out a clean coast index study, an underwater clean-up (for divers) and many more exciting activities!

The itinerary looks something like this: On Friday, arrive in Port Dickson in time for dinner, low-tide beach walk (be prepared to stay up late!), overnight at accommodation, continue workshop next morning till lunch time then head back home.

Requirements: you must know how to swim proficiently, be comfortable in the sea, have a desire to share your knowledge of the marine environment with adults and children, and after "graduating" from the workshop, be able to volunteer at least once a year for a MNS marine event/WOD event.

For more information about costs, detailed schedule, car-pooling, accommodation, what to bring etc or to register, please e-mail Wee Liem at wlwong983[at] with the following details: 

1) your full name 
2) valid MNS membership number 
3) mobile number 
4) specify if you are a diver / non-diver 
5) any other qualifications you have e.g. reef check diver, SSI snorkel diver, first aider, etc

Note: If you are not a MNS member, but would like to join this workshop, sign up as a member here first. The WOD 2015 location and dates will be announced later (hint: it's not in June).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snorkel & Dive! Pulau Perhentian 2014

Dates: June 7—10 (Sat—Tues)
Pre-trip briefing & full payment due: 15 May (Thurs) at 7pm, online (via e-mail)
Boat leaves from: Kuala Besut Jetty 10am (June 7); Arwana Jetty 12pm/4pm (June 10). 
Photo: Lai Chong Haur

Join the Marine Group (Selangor Branch) to celebrate World Oceans Day (WOD) at Dive! Pulau Perhentian. We’ll stay at Bayu Dive Lodge and dive with Alu Alu Divers. Click here to see our last WOD event.

PACKAGE 1: Snorkel Diver Course

Are you comfortable in the water? Can you swim proficiently without the aid of a life vest? If yes, then this course will teach you how to snorkel and duck dive properly without harming yourself and the marine environment.

Day 1: Academic - Introduction to Snorkelling and Marine Life Identification
Day 2: Confined water skills training and Marine Life Identification
Day 3: Snorkel training 
and completion of course 
Day 4: Free and easy

Cost: RM795/adult and RM398/child 8—12 years old includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, course fee, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

PACKAGE 2: Fun Dives
Six day dives with free equipment rental. Additional day dives are RM60/dive and night dives are RM90/dive. 

Cost: RM850/pax includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

PACKAGE 3: Non-Divers/Snorkellers
Family members who are accompanying members signed up for either Package 1 or 2, can also join the land-based activities.

Cost: RM550/adult (5-12 year olds RM275) includes return boat transfer ex-Kuala Besut, 3 nights accommodation in air-con room/hot water shower on twin or triple sharing basis, meals, *MNS sessions, Marine Park conservation fee and a nominal donation to the marine group fund.

*MNS sessions consist of after dinner fun activities, beach clean-up and data recording, and for divers – an underwater clean up / Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris, and a not-to-be-missed guided nocturnal beach exploration. For the low-tide walk, please bring torchlight(s) and wear slippers/sandals/booties for your own personal safety.

To enquire, book/or pay: Minimum 8 pax required to guarantee trip, so don’t delay. A RM250 deposit will book your place and if the trip is cancelled, we’ll refund your deposit, less the transfer fee. An additional joining fee applies for non-MNS members/families. Please e-mail H.Y. Leong at mnsmarinegroup-perhentian(at)yahoo(dot)com for payment instructions or further enquiries.


1) An adult must accompany all children under 21 years old.

2) Every participant must sign a waiver of liability form; parents can sign on behalf of children under 21 years old.

3) For non-MNS members, please add RM70 for one-year MNS membership or for families (parents and children up to 18 years old) add RM80.

4) We find roommates for those travelling solo.

5) Transportation to/fro Kuala Besut is on your own. See below for options and speedboat departure time.

6) Divers, please bring your dive card! If flying, divers are advised to wait a minimum 24 hours after the last dive before boarding a plane.

How to get to Kuala Besut: 

Car-pooling arrangements can be made at the pre-trip briefing. Please offer to share travel expenses and driving duties.

Flight: Air Asia / Fire Fly / Malaysia Airlines to Kota Bharu, taxi/van to Kuala Besut. Pre-arrange with other participants so you can split the taxi fare.
KTM Train: Due to early morning boat transfer, you’ll have to overnight in Kota Bharu first, or head straight to K. Besut where there is a budget hotel. Check KTM’s website.
Bus: Long-distance buses serve Kota Bharu and Kuala Besut. Check with your nearest bus station.

Speedboat Departures
Boat transfer is included in the cost and is about from 30 to 45-minutes. Actual time of departure also depends on the tide; the journey can be bumpy so plan accordingly if you’re prone to seasickness. We will be dropped off at the Arwana jetty, and it’s a 500m walk to Bayu Dive Lodge.

K. Besut Jetty Meeting Point: Please arrive at the jetty by 9.15am on June 7 and congregate in the seating area next to the Marine Park office where you will meet our event volunteers/facilitators: Gary Phong and Adeline Loh.

Arwana Jetty: Boat(s) pick-up is 12pm and 4pm from the island on June 10. Please plan your onward travel accordingly and inform the hotel staff/MNS facilitators a day before. 

Monday, February 03, 2014


Mangroves of Peninsular Malaysia – a guide to commonly seen species

This handy reference is a perfect companion during a guided mangrove walk or an outing with friends and family.

The compact guide measuring 8.5 x 4 inches fits neatly in the palm of your hand. Unfold it into a beautiful double-sided full colour visual map of what's amazing about our mangrove forests! Interested to see the plant that produces salt? Or the crab that climbs trees? Now see how many plants and animals you can spot with this helpful guide!

A year in the making, this guide wouldn’t be possible without the generous contribution of time, knowledge and photographs from academicians, photographers and MNS members of which the Marine Group would like to extend heartfelt thanks to: J.W.H. Yong, Chew Ming Yee, Andy Paul, Loh Wan Yeng, Wong Wee Liem, Terence Ang, and H.Y. Leong.

Published in March 2014 by the Malaysian Nature Society’s Marine Group (Selangor Branch) and retailing for RM5, you can buy your copies from Membership Officer Wee Chin at the Malaysian Nature Society's headquarters at Jalan Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur. For directions, click here

As the guide is so compact, our references are listed below! If you have a smart phone QR reader app, take a snap shot of the QR codes below, and if you don't have a phone that thinks it's smart, then please see below the QR code for the references. 

Text references

1. Allen GR, Steene R (2003). Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide. Tropical Reef Research.
2. Choudhury JK (1997). Sustainable management of coastal mangrove forest development and social needs. Mangroves and other coastal forests 6 (38.6) pp. 267-283.
3. Leong HY, Hijjas A (2003). A Visitor's Guide to Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Malaysian Nature Society Selangor Branch.
4. Kainuma M, Collins L, Spalding M (2010) World Atlas of Mangroves. Earthscan.
5. Yong JWH. Comparative Guide to Mangroves. National Institute of Education, Singapore.
URL references

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Comparative Guide to Mangroves

Reproduced here with the kind permission of the author Dr JWH Yong from National Institute of Education, Singapore. Click the image to enlarge it.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Science Film Festival 2013: Energy and Sustainability

Date: 24 November 2013
Venue: MAP KL Solaris outdoor stage (Green Action Day)

The Goethe-Institut Malaysia in cooperation with the Malaysian Nature Society, the Malaysian-German Institute, SIEMENS, the Ministry of Education and MAP Publika is organising the Science Film Festival 2013 in Kuala Lumpur from 21 November – 15 December.

The Malaysian film selection comprises 20 films from 13 Asian and European countries. This is the third year of Science Film Festival in Malaysia and the festival has grown considerably in Malaysia and in the whole ASEAN region with more than 350,000 viewers. During the festival period there will be screenings at the Nature Park in Kuala Selangor, MAP KL Solaris, at the German-Malaysian Institute and SIEMENS as well as at more than 450 schools nationwide.

Admin: There have been very little publicity surrounding this festival. We've not been able to find any information about the screening times at the MAP KL outdoor stage, so for more information please contact Goethe-Institute Malaysia's Cultural Programme Coordinator David Ngui Tel: 03-2164 2011 or MAP KL Tel: 03-6207 9732.

For a list of the 20 films being screened in Malaysia, please click here. We've picked two shorts (10 minutes) and one documentary which are related to water and marine. 

Title: Nineandahalf: A Sea of Plastic - Are Our Oceans Becoming a Dump?

Director: Juliane Kuhr
Produced by: tvision
Country: Germany
Year: 2012
Running Time: 10 min.
Age Group: All ages

There’s a lot of plastic swimming in our oceans. Part of it comes from ships, which dump their garbage into the ocean. But tourists also often throw their waste into the water. And there it remains for a very long time: a plastic bottle for example takes 450 years before it is decomposed. What effect does the garbage have on animals living in the sea? Why can’t we see the majority of the plastic waste? And why might even Johannes’ fish sandwich contain traces of plastic? All this and more is covered in this episode of "nineandahalf".

Title: Earth to Future: Clean Water for All
Director: Kai Schmitt
Produced by: tvision for KiKA – The Children’s Channel by ARD and ZDF
Country: Germany
Year: 2012
Running Time: 10 min.

Age Group: All ages 

How can water shortage around the world be solved in the future? On a quest for answers, Felix visits the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Studies in Leipzig. Here, researchers are working on a project that seeks to improve water usage in Jordan, one of the driest countries in the world. With the help of algae wastewater processing plants, waste water is filtered and transformed into clean water. Also in the episode, Felix demonstrates the conscious and sparing use of water.

"Earth to Future" is a new programme by KiKA – The Children’s Channel by ARD and ZDF, the two largest public broadcasters in Germany, which explores technologies in each episode that will change our lives in the future. Felix, the presenter, looks for ideas that will improve our lives and lets the technologies of tomorrow be explained to him by scientists at the cutting edge.

Title: Mekong
Director: Douglas Varchol
Produced by: Douglas Varchol with support from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the CGIAR Challenge Programm for Water and Food (CPWF) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
Country: Laos / Thailand / Cambodia / Vietnam
Year: 2013
Running Time: 52 min.
Age Group: Above 12

The Mekong Region is a massive ecosystem that is the lifeline for more than 60 million people across six countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. For the people in the Lower Mekong Basin, it provides more fish to more people than any other river in the world. With an estimated commercial value exceeding US$2 billion per year, it is the world's most valuable inland fishery.
The question is how can these seemingly opposite demands be met – sustainable development of a region and the rising demands for energy and economic growth?

At the same time, more than 140 dams are currently planned, under construction or commissioned for different rivers in the basin. If constructed, this will radically alter the basin's hydrology, its ecology and, consequently, the lives of millions who depend upon it.