The Marine Research Foundation is a non-profit research and conservation organisation based in Sabah, Malaysia

MRF was incorporated under the Sabah Trustees Act (1951) and established to improve our understanding of marine ecosystems and their associated diverse flora and fauna, across Southeast Asia and other Indo-Pacific sites. Our work is designed to support the aspirations and intent of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and is implemented at local, National and Regional levels.

Conservation & Research (Active projects)

Gulf Green Turtle Project (2016-present)

Sea turtles are protected in all countries bordering the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and are a priority species in EWS-WWF’s Strategy 2020 as well as WWF’s Global Marine Turtle Strategy 2012-2020 (WWF, 2012)

Dugong Bycatch Questionnaire (2010 to present)

Dugongs are vulnerable to fisheries, traditional hunting, large-scale losses of seagrass, smaller-scale habitat loss and boat traffic. Entanglement in fishing gear is the predominant threat as dugongs are by-caught in many kinds of fishing gear, in both commercial and artisanal fisheries. The threat is considered major, but the magnitude of the impact is largely unquantified in many countries. To address this, the Marine Research Foundation and a team of experts from around the globe developed a survey questionnaire which can be implemented at low cost and across large geographical areas. The survey is also designed to collect data on marine turtles and other cetaceans, and can be adapted to just about any marine or freshwater species

Population structure and dynamics of marine turtles in the Tubbataha Reefs, Cagayancillo, Palawan, Philippines (2010-present)

Marine turtles are integral components of marine ecosystems at the Tubbataha Marine Park World Heritage Site, and priority conservation species Nationally and within the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape programme, the IOSEA MoU, the CTI Regional Action Plan, and the ASEAN Sea Turtle MoU. The reefs at Tubbataha, Cagayancillo, Palawan, Philippines, are a developmental and nesting habitat for Endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas), and a foraging habitat for Critically Endangered hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Malaysia Turtle Excluder Devices Project (2007-present)

The greatest threat to sea turtles in Malaysia is accidental capture in commercial and artisanal fisheries. Sea turtles have the unfortunate legacy of sharing habitats with some of our favourite foods, and of all the threats to their existence, the shrimp industry is perhaps the biggest. As shrimp trawl nets roll along the seabed they indiscriminately catch and drown numerous sea turtles. The conservation outlook for turtles has slowly improved thanks to small management changes at national parks, but the threat posed by thousands of shrimp trawlers has remained paramount. And yet a very practical and inexpensive solution exists in the form of Turtle Excluder Devices (or TEDs)

Research and conservation of sea turtles at Mantanani (2006-present)

The general life-cycle of marine turtles is similar among species, but even given the amount of knowledge we presently have about sea turtles, there are some crucial gaps that have the potential to undermine management efforts. Among these is the knowledge of how many turtles join the breeding population in any given year, the period between onshore migration of juveniles to adulthood, and natural sex ratios in the wild. Lack of a clear understanding of any of these can have an effect on how turtle population data is interpreted and how this results in conservation action

Turtle Excluder Device (TED) Project

TEDs have become vital in sea turtle conservation, this page explores how they work and where they are use around the world. Learn more about their history and development and gain access to further resources.

Conservation & Research (Completed projects)

Consulting (Active projects)

Post EIA Monitoring for D28 FDO project (2019)

Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd installed a Light Weight Structure platform (D28D-A) and a 8 km pipeline at D28 Field, located 90km NW of Bintulu, offshore Sarawak, in a water depth of 35m (115 ft) and this project assesses impacts of this development after one year. Preliminary hydrographic surveys indicated there may be coral outcrops present…

Consulting (Completed projects)