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MERC is located at the doorstep of Tunku Abul Rahman Park, a marine protected area in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The five islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park provide natural protection for the natural vegetation, animals and underwater coral reef gardens in the area, offering a haven to the many people visiting its shores. Nestled in the quiet Malohom Bay of Gaya Island, MERC is approximately a 20-minute boat ride from the mainland of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital city.
Global concern for climate change and increasing threat of extinction to the world’s last remaining giant clams is the driving force behind the daily research and conservation initiatives conducted here. MERC embraces a concept of not only operating in an ecologically sensitive manner but placing a dedicated effort on improving conditions, thus increasing the chances for continuity of the spectacular marine life found.
Through its efforts, MERC has successful produced over 10,000 spats under its Giant Clam Propagation Programme. Over 2500 pieces of broken coral fragments have been planted since June 2009, with a registered high survival rate of almost 90%. Of those planted, approximately 160 coral plants have been adopted by visitors under MERC’s Adopt a Coral programme.
Two Biorock structures have been installed to rejuvenate marine habitat, the first artificial reefs using Biorock technology in Malaysia. The results, as expected, showed positive growth and survival rate of over 80%, a faster growth rate than on other controlled structures.