Friday, April 26, 2013

Pulau Perhentian -Perfect Holiday Experience

Pulau Perhentian is a heaven that slipped out of modern society for those who wants back to nature and peaceful olden no TV era.

 Jetty at Perhentian Island Resort

Pulau Perhentian, means “Stopping Islands” in Malay is emerging as a favorite of foreign holidaymakers and it seems that it targets as one of the Malaysia number one holiday destinations. The wonderful charm which contains pristine white sand beaches with stunning turquoise make it an emphatically an ideal holiday destination. 

 Pristine white sand beache

According to record, Perhentian Island was opened by Batin Mina and her family from the Riau Islands that living in the Gulf at the end of the 18th century. At first, the Islands do not have any name and just as a transit point for  Chinese merchant ships that back and forth from China to South-east Asia. As it is the transit point, it then named as Perhentian Islands. Batin Mina descent had ruled the Islands until the final descent Batin Sidek in 1990.

Small Island
The islands were sparsely inhabited by fishermen for centuries, although tourism now accounts for most economic activity. Geographically, Perhentian Islands are a small group of beautiful, coral-fringed islands about 10 nautical miles off the eastern Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. Pulau Perhentian is divided into big island and Small Island where the main holiday spot, resorts and chalets and diver centre are concentrated in big island and Small Island remains as the traditional fishing village for local. It has a modern polis station and primary school.

 Unpolluted sand beach

The white, silky unpolluted sand beach especially at Perhentian Island Resort is among the nicest in east coast in Malaysia. Nature tourism provides the economic base for the islands. All the islands in the area are gazette as the protected marine park, in which fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited. All travelers to the islands must pay a marine park conservation charge of RM5.


Holidays in Pulau Perhentian offer glorious Tropical Island unspoiled beauty infused romantic gateway with a distinctly Malaysian flavor, heavenly one at this beautiful seaside, relax and recharge. The unspoiled surrounding has one of the most diverse and largest coral in Malay Archipelago. Under the crystal clear water, lay the coral reef teeming with rich marine biodiversity.

  Relaxing and recharging
The richness underwater is so spectacular and amazing. Its sea waters surrounding the islands are crystal clear and rated as one of the best scuba diving holiday spots where divers can enjoy the reefs and rich biodiversity. 


On most beaches, the water is shallow. The activities on the Perhentian Islands are basically limited to scuba diving, snorkeling, sea-kayaking, and sunbathing and turtle conservation volunteering. Popular tourist activities include scuba-diving, canoeing, snorkeling, and swimming.


The surrounding sea is known for its fishing; in fact is the fishing heaven. Fishing in undisturbed and utterly peaceful surroundings with plenty of fish is hardly found in other place. 

ready for sea activities
Pulau Perhentian and all other east coast islands are closed for the period October to February yearly due to the eastern monsoon. The seas could be very rough and choppy, skies overcast that make sea activities dangerous. The peak period is from May to August especially during the school holidays and long public holidays.


 good harvest

big fish

ready for BBQ
Access to the Islands is by ferry from Kuala Besut, which is usually by air from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu and one and a half hour by road. It also can be reached by road from Jerteh or Kuala Terengganu. It takes about an hour with the fees of RM70 per person for two ways to the Islands.  
Perhentian Resort

Friendly Perhentian Resort Manager Mr Novsham(right)

Peaceful resort
Pulau Perhentian is the heaven for relax and recharge, it’s the place for perfect holiday experience…………

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pulau Perhentian : Department of Marine Park Malaysia and Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

The loss of sea biodiversity needs to be halted and to be taken care of. The outbreaks of the coral-killing Crown-of-Thorns Satrfish (Tapak Sulaiman Mahkota Berduri) can decimate the beautiful coral reefs and destroy the natural ecosystem in the sea. Statistics had shown that from 1992 – 2012, through the annual Pulau Perhentian Crown-of-Thorns Starfish and reef clean-up programme, more than 10,000 Crown-of-Thorns Starfish were destroyed.

The beautiful undersea world 

Pulau Perhentian Crown-of-Thorns Starfish and reef clean-up programme 2013 was the Problem Solving Programme organized by Department of Marine Park Malaysia at Pulau Perhentian Marine Park on 5 April 2013. It was officiated by Dato’ Sri Zoal Azha bin Yusof, Secretary General of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. More than 100 participants including volunteers from government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), tourism operators and scuba diving center as well as the local island villages took part in this annual event to clean up the coral eating creature.

   Peaceful Pulau Perhentian

The crown-of-thorns starfish, commonly known as Tapak Sulaiman Mahkota Berduri, is a large, multiple-armed star fish or sea star that usually preys upon hard, or stony, coral polyps which receives its name from its long poisonous venomous thorn-like spines that cover its upper surface. It is the second-largest sea-star in the world after the sunflower sea star. Adult C.O.T is typically 30-40cm in diameter whereas specimens occasionally grow as large as 70cm.

   Crown-of-thorns starfish
A group of 3 to 4 divers jointly collect C.O.T.  The more experienced 2 divers are responsible for collecting the C.O.T while the others act as spotters and to carry the net bags. The collected C.O.T will be counted and then buried in the sand.

The Crown-of-thorns starfish are one of the most damaging creatures of tropical coral reefs. The voracious predators release the contents of their stomach on to the coral and the digestive juices liquefy the coral for consumption, often leading to widespread devastation of coral population.

   Crystal clear sea water

Although the predators including molluscs, fish and worms but the outbreaks can cause the coral food supply and coral cover goes into decline. A single individual sea star can wipe out large areas in this way. They are almost completely covered in protective venomous spines capable of causing great damages.

  Snorkeling to explore undersea world

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish are naturally occurring animals on coral reefs. Adults COTs have more than15 arms and are usually blue, but sometimes purple red. To protect itself C.O.Ts has short toxic spines that are easily embedded in the skin. An efficient predator can consume 5-13 square meters of living coral a year.

The prices of PADI Programmes

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish are part of the coral reef ecosystem, usually there are about 1-20 cots per hectare of reef. However, during the outbreak, the naturally low numbers of C.O.Ts increase to over 30 or thousands of C.O.Ts per hectare of coral reef. The C.O.Ts cluster together and devour the living coral, leaving a white graveyard of dead coral behind. The dead coral becomes covered in brown algae.

PRO Diver's world

Outbreaks occur naturally. Specific causes for outbreak are not well understood. Scientists are researching a possible link with human activities such as used of pesticides and fertilizers in farms. Some scientists have proposed overfishing of C.O.T predators. Napoleon Wrasse and triton shells may have led to the outbreak.

Several factors are important to ensure the success of a cots cleanup:
i.             The reef is not too damaged by C.O.T or human activities
ii.           The reef area is small enough to maintain effective control
For most outbreaks in Marine Park Malaysia, the best clean-up method is physical removal of the C.O.T from the reef and burial offshore.
   Beautiful Pulau Perhentian

We can help to protect our coral reef and help our coastal communities by:
i.       Report illegal fishing activities that destroy reefs such as illegal trawling
ii.    Don’t remove living shells or coral or buy ornamental especially the Triton shell that eats C.O.T.
iii.      Dispose of chemicals and trash properly. Waste thrown into rivers is carried to the ocean where it kills healthy reefs and other marine animals
iv.         Help by participating in C.O.T clean-up and beach trash clean-up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Crown of Thorns (C.O.T) and Reef Clean up Perhentian Island 2013

The richness of marine biodiversity and the beauty of the Marine Park Islands have succeeded in attracting many visitors from within and outside the country. It is one of the major contributors to the development of the tourism sector in our country. Hence, understanding this perspective and under the Economic Transformation programme (ETP), tourism is one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) that contribute directly to the growth of the Malaysian economy.

Dato’Sri Zoal Azha Officiating Perhentian Island local community programme
Dato’Sri Zoal Azha bin Yusof, Secretary General of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment made the remark during his speech at the opening ceremony of the Crown of Thorns (C.O.T) and Reef Clean up at Perhentian Island 2013 and Program Kembara Bersama Media NRE 2013. It was held on 5 April 2013(Friday). Sixteen participants from RTM1, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, New Straits Times and PROs from NRE and agencies under the ministry took part in the event.

     The richness of marine biodiversity attracting many visitors

He urged the public to work hand in hand with the ministry to conserving marine biological diversity and make our land healthier, besides making our communities more prosperous and safe for us and future generations.

         The Crown of Thorns
Through NRE, the government is putting in the effort needed to conserve natural resources and environment. The ministry has undertaken various efforts including Biodiversity Policy, laws and regulations and guidance, management plans, etc. to ensure that the wealth of natural resources are well protected and environment are well preserved. At the same time, institutional capacities and technical capacity for biodiversity were strengthened. Thus, the Marine Park section has been upgraded to a department and the Department of Marine Park Malaysia, officially established in July 2007, he said.

  A Crown-of-thorns starfish 'outbreak' can damage the reef
He said the Department of Marine Park Malaysia has been responsible for managing, protecting and conserving marine protected areas and maintain the sustainability of marine biodiversity.
“In order to manage the country's resources well, the marine area of 1.2 nautical miles waters is gazetted as Marine Park and protected areas. This is important as it’s the main source of protein provided area to the local people. Marine Park areas are suitable coral reef ecosystems for many commercial fish species to take refuge, breed, feed and grow. It should be preserved and protected as a sanctuary of marine biodiversity. Records show that there were 1394 species of fish and 405 species of coral reef in coral reef areas in Malaysia. Biological diversity of coral reef ecosystems is a natural treasure of the sea and it is priceless,” he said.

Pro Diver’s  world
Zoal Azha said that recently, Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Sibu and Pulau Gemia were recognized as the most charming Asian island destination by New Voyage Magazine at its annual awards ceremony held at Beijing on 15 January 2013.The award coincides with the government's desire to promote Malaysia in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

                       handlining catch larger oceanic fish

“Coral reef ecosystems are exposed to various threats such as human activities and natural phenomena. Waste disposal into the sea and starfish attack or Thorny Crown of Thorns crown (COT) is the major contributor to this threat. C.O.T normally lives in a hidden coral reef such as bay and the water is not too shallow.They destroy the coral to feed on the soft polyps hidden inside.”

                      handline fishing-  high-quality size fish

“Under normal circumstances, C.O.T acts as a biological control agent to ensure the diversity of coral species can live in an orderly manner. However, excessive C.O.T population caused by the extinction of predators will cause severe damage to the reef where the C.O.T would be predators to coral. This situation is commonly known as a crown-of-thorns starfish 'outbreak' and their recovery often takes 12-15 years.”

        good quality fresh fish

“There are two commonly used techniques for controlling the population of the C.O.T., namely by injecting Copper Sulphate solution and physical removal with COTs buried ashore. In the past 20 years from 1992 to 2012 about 10 thousand C.O.T were collected during the program organized by the Marine Park.”   

    Beautiful Beach
Zoal Azha also said that the implementation of C.O.T and Reef Clean-up programme will be able to reduce the rubbish around Pulau Perhentian which can affect the ecosystem and biodiversity as well as foster the spirit of love for the environment among the participants. The programme has involved around 100 participants including volunteers from government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), tourism operators and scuba diving as well as the rest of the island villages.

“I greatly appreciate the involvement of all parties in the efforts to conserve these marine parks. I’m also looking forward to this noble efforts will somehow help preserve marine biodiversity that is priceless and should be preserved and properly managed in order to provide the benefit to future generations. The high quality clean unpolluted Ocean Park is of increasing importance to consumers.”