Marine Ecology Research Centre


The Marine Ecology Research Centre. MERC pledged to address the increasing threats on marine life, combating its effects by returning to nature what was previously destroyed.

MERC is the first in Malaysia that has successfully produced all seven species of giant clams found in Malaysian waters. MERC’s innovative educational methods have been recognized, winning the Most Innovative Tourist Attraction Eco-Tourism Conservation Award 2008-2009 by Ministry of Tourism Malaysia.

“This is indeed a lifetime experience. You are here doing the most noble work of all. You are preserving and saving life on earth. Congratulations. I wish the whole world was with us here. My greatest appreciation and respect, Taleb Rifai.” (The Secretary General of UN-World Tourism Organization, during his visit on 6th October 2010)


Gayana Eco Resort

Day Trip to MERC

Day trips to MERC expose visitors to the important work conducted through a guided tour. It can be tied in with a sumptuous 4-course meal at the Alu-Alu Seafood Restaurant of Gayana Eco Resort for those who are keen on indulging in the atmosphere of this exotic, private island resort.

Adopt a Coral

At MERC, there is a strong belief that directly involving visitors in conservation work instils a sense of responsibility and ownership in caring for the environment. Visitors can also choose to adopt the corals they plant and receive periodic updates on the progress of their adopted coral online.

Day as Marine Biologist

Ever wondered what it takes to become a Marine Biologist? If yes, then sign up and work with our Marine Biologists and spend A Day as a Marine Biologist, a programme consist of a day-long experience which will provide a glimpse behind the scenes of marine biologists and the painstaking work and research that goes into producing giant clams and restoring them to the reefs.


Over the past tens of thousands of years, hundreds of living species have been lost through extinction due to climatic and environmental changes. Direct human behavior is another major cause of marine life degradation. Coastal development causes irrecoverable damage to coral reefs due to marine dredging and sea front reclamation, eutrophication from agricultural fertilizers, sewage outflows and also smothering from sediment run-off.


Giant Clamp Propagation

One of the major activities at MERC is its Giant Clam Propagation Programme which was to actively propagate giant clams to be re-stocked in the sea.

Coral Reef Restoration

The Coral Reef Restoration Programme was created to restore the condition of the reefs, reviving this important fish habitat and encouraging fish population growth.

Environmental Education

The core function of MERC’s Environmental Education Programme 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.


Since its establishment in 2007, MERC has formed positive working relationships, ranging from individuals (such as student researchers and volunteers teaming up with MERC employees in the field), private organizations (through visits under their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes), institutions (academic professionals in marine conservation and other related fields), non-governmental organizations (collaborating in joint awareness programmes either on-site or off-site) and government organizations (such as with Department of Fisheries Sabah on enforcement issues pertaining to Giant Clams and other marine species).


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