Nestled on the edge of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park off the coast of Malaysian Borneo, the Gayana Eco Resort is not your average hotel. With its very own onsite Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC), it actively works to protect and regenerate the precious marine ecology of the area.
The one-of-a-kind centre is 100% funded by the hotel owner and enables guests to participate in the careful restoration of the damaged ocean floors and natural coral reefs. Hotel guests can visit the research centre, learn more about the local marine life, as well as actively participating in the important work carried out there.
It’s well-known that diving can have negative effects on marine life, so MERC collects broken coral fragments, which are then replanted to create new healthy coral reefs. Modern techniques are used to encourage faster coral regeneration in poor water conditions and endangered species, such as giant clams, are propagated and returned to the sea. Visitors can really get involved by spending a day working alongside a marine biologist. They can plant coral fragments and even adopt the fragment they plant to receive updates on its progress as it grows.
In order to reduce the pressure on the fragile wild fish population, the hotel’s seafood restaurant, Alu Alu, promotes farmed fish over wild captured fish and only includes fish from the local farm, which is certified as practising ‘good aquaculture practices’, on its menu.
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