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Tropical Research and Conservation Centre

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If staying on a deserted tropical island caring for the underwater world sounds like your cup of salty water, Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRACC) offers the opportunity to be a paying volunteer on their coral reef conservation project.

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Based at Pom Pom Island, 30 kilometres east of Semporna, this is one place you don't need experience to help—you don’t even have to know how to dive, as they can teach you.

The terrible setting. Photo taken in or around Tropical Research and Conservation Centre, Semporna And Sipadan Island, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

The terrible setting. Photo: Sally Arnold

TRACC’s aim is to protect the reefs to support and encourage the shark population. This area has seen a decrease of 98 percent in its shark population over the past 15 years, an indication that the reef needs repair. Sharks are top-level predators; a reef healthy for sharks means a diverse range of other fish and sea creatures must be around. Planting corals in damaged areas creates shelter for juvenile fish, who will eventually grow into shark food, hopefully resulting in a healthy reef with better corals and a diverse fish ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Semporna and Sipadan Island? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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