SEATRU Save The Turtle Volunteer Program

This information was gathered and published by MESYM from this source.


This program was developed to provide volunteer assistance to the long-term tagging and in-situ egg incubation research and conservation project for marine turtles located in Chagar Hutang Beach, Redang Island. It was introduced in 1998, and has become very popular, especially among college and university students.

The volunteer program runs annually from April to September each year. Slots are of one week duration (Saturdays to Saturdays).


SEATRU invites volunteers to participate in its long-term sea turtle conservation program at Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary, Pulau Redang, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Participants must:

  1. be genuinely interested in wildlife conservation
  2. be able to live under simple conditions
  3. be physically fit and be of age 18 or above
  4. be able to swim (preferably)

As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to experience and participate in the conservation work conducted by SEATRU at Chagar Hutang, Redang Island. The Turtle Sanctuary is very special and only researchers and volunteers are allowed on the beach.


The work involved is very similar to work carried out in many sea turtle conservation programs throughout the world. The activities are:

Night activities

  1. Hourly beach patrols at night to locate and record all turtle arrivals
  2. Monitoring nesting activities and timing the various stages of nesting
  3. Tagging and measuring turtles after they have completed the egg laying process
  4. Marking of nests
  5. Recording  all necessary data
  6. Monitoring of hatchling emergence

Day time activities

  1. Marking and measuring the location of nests deposited the night before
  2. Covering nests with protective netlon mesh and maintaining them
  3. Hourly beach patrols to monitor nests under incubator
  4. Excavation of hatched nests and analysis of nest contents
  5. Beach clean-ups
  6. Ensure tourists do not land on Chagar Hutang
  7. Ensure all snorkelers and divers leave Turtle Bay by 3:00 PM
  8. Assist in cooking, housekeeping and other chores
  9. Assist in other research, outreach and conservation activities of SEATRU


Volunteer Fees for 2014 ( Normal booking registration will be opened from 1st February 2014 onward)

Malaysian Non-student RM 700 per person
Student RM 450 per person
Foreigner Non-student USD 350 per person
Student USD 250 per person

Priority bookings ( 1st January to 31st January 2014)

Malaysian Non-student RM 800 per person
Student  RM 550 per person
Foreigner Non-student USD 400 per person
Student USD 300 per person

(Online Currency Converter)

Included in the cost:

  • Briefing and supervision
  • Return transportation from UMT to Merang jetty
  • Boat transfer to the island for one-round trip
  • Boat transfers to Chagar Hutang Beach
  • Food and accommodation at Chagar Hutang for one week
  • Volunteer Handbook, T-shirt and certificate of participation.

Not included in the cost:

  • Food and accommodation in Kuala Terengganu / UMT
  • Transport to and from Kuala Terengganu /UMT
  • Taxi transfer from the airport / bus station to the UMT campus
  • Personal insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Marine Park Conservation Fees (RM5.00)


The pre-registration for Volunteer Program 2014 will only be opened on 1st Jan 2014 (Priority booking) or 1st Feb 2014 (Normal booking). For details on the program, please read the Volunteer Guideline (updated 2012). We do not accept any bookings before 1st Jan 2014.

To book a slot, check its availability by clicking here, then send an email to to book the slot. Please state your:

  1. Full name,
  2. IC/passport number
  3. Nationality
  4. Occupation
  5. Email address (if you are helping friends to book).

Once you see your name appear on the pre-registration column on the Volunteer Program schedule, you will be given 2 weeks to confirm your booking by making a pre-payment of RM300 and returning the completed Registration Form (PDF) to us. Kindly ensure your handwriting is legible.

Foreigners are required to pay the full amount of USD350 (USD250 for students) as their pre-payment. As for priority bookings an extra of USD50 will be charged. If you fail to confirm your booking within 2 weeks, your name will automatically be removed to give others the chance to come. No excuses given will be entertained. If you have made your pre-payment but are unable to come, please make it a point to let us know in advance. Please note that the pre-payment made is not refundable.

*Successful applicants for the 2014 Volunteer Program (priority booking) will be informed (in our website and will be emailed) weekly on 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th Jan 2014.


Due to limited boat and vehicle space and several transfers, you are required to put all your belongings into ONE piece of rugged luggage (waterproof is good). You will have to carry your own luggage as well as help us carry grocery supplies to the island. Items that you should bring are:

  • sun-block lotion and insect repellent
  • sunglasses, cap (if you use eyeglasses, please bring along an extra pair)
  • field  clothes —T-shirts (you will be given one volunteer T-shirt), shorts, quick drying long trousers, sweater. Dark T-shirts and pants are required for  monitoring work at night, as turtles can be distracted by white or bright colours
  • sleeping bag or light blanket and inflatable pillow if you wish. Camp beds will be provided.
  • swimwear (mask and snorkels are available). Fins are not permitted.
  • sport shoes for hiking
  • penlight and AA batteries (use will be kept to a minimum)
  • camera
  • digital watch (with backlight)
  • personal items — toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, vitamins, medication. Use of toilet paper is not allowed.
  • snacks and junk food for personal indulgence (pork and liquor are strictly prohibited).
  • optional items — underwater disposable camera, reading materials, binoculars (if you have them)

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