Volunteer to restore damaged coral reefs and protect turtles in Borneo, Malaysia.


Borneo Coral Reef Restoration and Turtle Protection

Saving the ocean, one coral, one turtle and one shark at a time.


Who: TRACC (Tropical Research and Conservation Centre)

Where: Pom Pom Island, Borneo, Malaysia

Focus: Protecting sea turtles and restoring coral reefs destroyed by the local fish bombing practices of Malaysia.

When: All year round. Peak turtle nesting season is from May to September.

Duration: 2 weeks up to 4 months.

Suitability: 18+. All training is included so no previous dive experience necessary.

Marine Qualifications: Marine A-Level (more detail below)

Cost: The price gets cheaper the longer you stay:

  • 2 weeks from EUR 1,200
  • 4 weeks from EUR 1,800
  • 6 weeks from EUR 2,300
  • 12 weeks from EUR 3,300
  • 25% discount available for all professional DM /OWSI/Biologists

Note: All prices are for International volunteers. Malaysian citizens should contact TRACC directly for costs.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Learn how to repair the damage to coral reefs caused by blast fishing in the area to encourage reef sharks, rays, turtles and other forms of marine life to remain in the area. Currently, TRACC has planted over 75,000 coral fragments over a course of 6 years, drastically improving the surrounding reefs.
  • Create and place sinkable crate structures to catch rubble that may harm corals as well as providing a homes for marine life.
  • Carry out coral transplants using an innovative methodology allowing corals to grow 25 times faster.
  • Patrol the island to find nesting green and hawksbill turtles, collect and relocated the eggs to the island hatchery, then release the baby turtles back into the ocean.
  • Take part in fish ID and invertebrate ID workshops and carry out underwater surveys of the reefs.
  • Learn basic aquaculture skills in order to raise and grow hard and soft corals in land-based tanks before transfering them to local reefs.
  • Take part in crown of thorns surveys
  • Take part in beach and reef clean-ups to ensure the ongoing natural beauty of the area.

Marine A-Level

TRACC’s Cambridge Marine Science intensive A-Level course is recognised world wide, and allows you to complete an entire A-level in approximately 14 weeks.

The Marine science A-level is split into two parts; the AS-level and the A2 level:

  • AS level investigates the scientific study of the sea and its related ecosystems.
  • A2-Level looks at human activities and how we impact and rely upon the ocean.

Cost: 14 weeks from EUR 5,250. Contact TRACC for more information.

Scuba Diving:

PADI Qualifications: The following courses are available for an additional fee: Open Water, Advanced Open Water, EFR and Rescue. Each course requires a minimum stay of two weeks per course.

Divemaster Internship: Only available at certain times of the year and for a minimum stay of 12 weeks.

The Base:

Accommodation: A small, remote island in the heart of the coral triangle. The base itself is on an isolated beach with shared showers and toilets.

Sleeping: Tents each with a power socket, fan and dry box. Each tent has a single bed with a frame and mattress. All bedding is provided.

Food: 3 meals a day.

Working week: Tuesday to Saturday. Sunday is a fun day and Monday is a dry day.

Transport: Transport to and from the site from Semporna. Volunteers must pay for transport to and from Tawau Airport (~£5 per journey).

The Next Step

Fill in this enquiry form, and a member of TRACC will get in touch to answer all your questions. Please say that you heard about this project from Sea Fans.

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