The Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC), located at the doorstep of Tunku Abul Rahman Park, a marine protected area in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Attached to the luxurious Gayana Eco Resort, our sister property and nestled in the quiet Malohom Bay of Gaya Island, MERC’s attraction is its significant contribution in the marine conservation arena coupled with the idyllic surroundings. As a learning and educational centre, it has grown over the years into a research and rehabilitation facility.
A walk into the centre situated above the calm turquoise waves will have you immersed in the underwater world through its aquariums filled with interesting marine life. From the maternity tank where pregnant seahorses play, rescued bamboo sharks or turtles, to the touch tank where starfish, sea cucumber and other sea creatures rest until curious hands reach in for a gentle caress, visitors of all ages and backgrounds will emerge with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the complexities of the marine eco system.
It is the increasing threat on the marine world and the passion to save it that was the driving force behind the daily research and conservation initiatives of the centre to return back to nature what men has exploited in the past.
The work done at MERC speaks for itself. MERC's claim to fame came when it was certified by the Malaysia Book of Records as the first centre in Malaysia to successfully produce all seven species of giant clams found in Malaysian waters.
Not forgetting its original role as an educational site, MERC continues to share and educate on the beauty of the underwater world, while engaging visitors in marine conservation. Its innovative educational methods have been recognized, winning the Most Innovative Tourist Attraction Eco-Tourism Conservation Award 2008-2009 by Ministry of Tourism Malaysia.