Conservation of Large Marine Megafauna in Malaysia

Timeframe: 2020 – 2022
Country/Region: Malaysia
Partner: Marine Research Foundation

Sea turtles are endangered across much of their global range including in South East Asia where bycatch, poaching, climate change and habitat loss all contribute to their decline. In Malaysia sea turtles are most impacted by accidental bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries, a type of fishing gear that is considered the most detrimental also for numerous sharks and rays as well as for some marine mammals such as dugongs.

Following a first project, Fondation Segré has agreed to renew its support to Marine Research Foundation (MRF) for its efforts in bycatch mitigation in Malaysia. The continuation and expansion of this project has the overarching goal to address the accidental capture of endangered sea turtles, sharks, rays and large marine mammals in Malaysian fishing fleets. Bycatch of these species will be mitigated through the combined use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), on board time-lapse GPS-linked cameras, awareness and education activities and capacity-building workshops, while minimising impacts to incomes of local fishing communities.

MRF’s efforts have already led to legal requirements for TEDs in four States in Malaysia, and through this project they aim to expand their efforts to Perak (a new State to the programme) and continue their work in Sabah as this is the State with the largest number of vessels. MRF will continue to work in close cooperation with the Department of Fisheries Malaysia (DOFM) and the Department of Fisheries Sabah (DOFS) to expand the uptake of Turtle Excluder Devices across Malaysia.

You can read more about our previous support to MRF for the implementation of TEDs in Malaysia. HERE