Thursday, November 29, 2018

Labuan Marine Museum

The museum, situated inside, was opened to the public in January 2003. Specialising in marine life exhibition, this is the first marine museum of such a concept in Malaysia.

I was truly surprised to learn that this small Labuan island has so many museums and that most of it are free. There’s the Chimney Museum, Labuan Museum and now the Marina Museum. Not only that, you can even go island hopping in Labuan, and the islands around Labuan are simply beautiful (will blog about the islands separately). And of course, there’s plenty of outdoor activities such as ATV by beach, perahu larai, zipling by the beach, nature trekking at the mangrove, on the island and etc. Oh! All museums are free, kid you not – FREE. I guess, what I am trying to say is not to doubt small island, especially Labuan.

OK, back to the Marine Museum. Wasn’t sure what to expect initially as I have never been to a marine museum before in my life. Yeah yeah… I know, what you guys gonna say that I have been to a few Viking ship museums before this and then there’s the Maritime Museum in Melaka (which talks more about the maritime in Melaka itself and not marine stuff in general). So visiting Labuan Marine Museum seems like a must-do activity in Labuan for me, and I have no regrets.

Opened since 2003, the Marine Museum is located inside the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex and is said to be the first marine museum in Malaysia. The museum is split into 16 galleries covering live specimen, preserved species of marine creatures, types of corals, fishing technics, shipwrecks information and many more.

Live fishes are being displayed as you entered the museum, namely damselfish, butterflyfish, porcupinefish and others.

Aside from showcasing local fishes in Labuan, the museum has information on the 4 famous shipwrecks in Labuan water. The shipwrecks in Labuan (yeah, you can dive as well) are 'Cement wreak', 'American Wreak', 'Australian Wreak', and 'Blue Water Wreak' – two are from World War II and the other two are from the 1980's. It is a heaven for divers.

Coral Reef Biodiversity 
The Labuan Marine Park comprises areas extending two nautical miles where the three islands are located – Kuraman Island, Rusukan Kecil Island and Rusukan Besar Island (you simply must visit these island); that was gazetted in 1994 as marine park. The reef patches such as Montipora monasteriata, Cyphastrea chalcidicum, Acropora valida and Pavona crassa among others are located in shallow area and grow on the granitic rock.

Blast Fishing 
Also highlighted in the Marine Museum is the blast fishing or dynamite fishing; using detonator, plant poison, cynide and etc to kill the fishes for easy collection. However, this process is illegal and damages the ecosystem as well as our marine life; threatens our coral reefs and contributes to the decline in fish populations. Upon seeing this in the museum, I did a little reading (not that I don’t know blast fishing is bad, more to I don’t know how many types of blast fishing are there) and found out Malaysia is mentioned in a few websites. This is not good guys, do educate you family and friends on the importance of NOT to do blast fishing yah.

The highlight of the museum is actually the Indian Fin Whale 42-foot skeleton. I felt as if I entered a Jurassic Park for creatures of the sea.

The whale found on Sebatu Beach in Malacca and has been ‘touring’ and ‘exhibiting’ itself around town in Raffles Museum, Singapore and of course the National Museum. Perhaps in the future they should put sperm whale skeleton as well. That. Will. Be. So. Cool.

So, jom lah ke Labuan! 

Labuan Marine Museum 
Kompleks Sukan Air Antarabangsa Labuan
Jalan Tanjung Purun

Operating Hours 
Time : 8.30am - 5pm daily (closed on first day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha)

Entrance Fees 

Explore Labuan Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Perbadanan Sabah and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

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