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The Perhentian Turtle Project aims for greater understanding and protection of the sea turtle populations in the Perhentian Islands, located off the east of Peninsular Malaysia. It is a unique and diverse programme that includes not only the establishment of a pioneering photo identification database of sea turtle sightings, but also the protection of nesting beaches and turtle eggs. The project team also promote conservation awareness in the local community and among visiting tourists and resorts.

It’s not surprising that the work is demanding and very multi-faceted: During the day, team members carry out daily dive trips to photograph resident, transient and nesting turtles and add this data to the identification database. At night, they work with local staff of the Fisheries Department to deter poachers by patrolling nesting beaches and re-locating eggs to protected hatcheries. Additionally, they are busy with posters and presentations to the residents and tourists to promote responsible tourism such as caring for reef environments and eco-snorkeling. Their outreach even allows any diver or snorkeller to submit their own photographs to the project website, to help identify individual sea turtles.

The Turtle Team is based at an amazingly beautiful private estate, just off the main beach of Perhentian Besar, the larger of the two paradise islands. The so-called Turtle House provides accommodation, work spaces and a kitchen plus some awesome views and sunsets over the bay.

Turtle House on Perhentian Besar
Turtle House on Perhentian Besar
Views from Turtle House
Views from Turtle House



Your contribution of RM 300 will go towards the cost of flyers and posters for the awareness campaign by the turtle team all around the islands. You will also join the turtle team for half a day as they carry out their regular snorkelling patrols to identify and photograph sea turtles in the bay.


With your donation of of RM 600, you will contribute to the cost of underwater camera equipment which is vital in keeping track of the local turtle population. You can see for yourself how this equipment is used, during the daily dive trips to monitor the turtles. Even more excitingly, you will be allowed VIP access to witness one of the night patrols on the protected nesting beaches, under supervision of the Turtle team and Turtle crew of the Department of Fisheries. Hammocks and torches provided!


Your contribution of RM 1,000 will allow you to particpate as a member of the turtle team as a volunteer for up to one month. You will be enrolled in the volunteer programme, which means that accomodation is provided, plus meals on working days and daily transport, if needed. More details on our Volunteering page




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