Pantai Kerachut Turtle Conservation & Information Center is located on Pantai Kerachut in the Penang National Park area. Turtles from the species of Green Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle landed and made nests around Pantai Kerachut, Teluk Kampi and Teluk Ketapang in this National Park.
At this Center, beach zoning methods are made in Turtle landing areas for the purpose of identifying areas and facilitating landing tracking records.
The beach zoning within the Penang National Park area are as follow:
- Zone A – Pantai Kerachut from the jetty to the left
- Zone B – Pantai Kerachut from the jetty to Meromictic Lake
- Zone C1 – Pantai Teluk Kampi
- Zone C2 – Pantai Teluk Kampi
- Zone D – Pantai Teluk Ketapang
- Zone E – Other beaches (Pasir Pandak and Gertak Sanggul)
Pantai Kerachut TCIC is opened everyday and visiting hour is from 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
The development of Pantai Kerachut TCIC started in 1999 from the involvement of self-monitoring with the cooperation of a fisherman from Kuala Sungai Pinang. From then on, in the year 2000, regular monitoring began to be assisted by office staff in collaboration with fishermen Kuala Sungai Pinang. Licensed egg collectors were first appointed to carry out the task of collecting turtle eggs to be collected at the incubation site.
Between 2001 and 2006, full-time monitoring was carried out by Department of Fisheries staffs and licensed egg collectors. From 2007 to date, full-time monitoring is carried out by 4 Civil Servants (R1 – contract) staff appointed by the Penang State Government and licensed egg collectors.
In terms of the facilities of the central building, it started from a small monitoring hut which in turn developed into a complete center to carry out Turtle conservation activities. The Center Building was fully completed in April 2008. Since then, improvements are made from time to time according to the needs and suitability of the Center.
When traveling by sea to Pantai Kerachut TCIC, visitors can see Batu Buaya (Crocodile Stone), Batu Arnab (Rabbit Stone) and Batu Penyu (Turtle Stone) for themselves.
In addition, visitors can also visit the unique Meromictic Lake here. Meromictic Lake with an area of 2.77 square kilometers, formed from the flow of five tributaries found in the forest area of Penang National Park. Meromictic Lake in Malaysia is the second after Australia. Apart from Australia, it is said that a similar lake is also found in the Black Sea. The transition of the season during the Northeast monsoon in November to March and the Southwest monsoon from May to September is the cause of this seasonal lake formation.
Meromictic Lake when dry Meromictic Lake when full
The lake has 2 layers of water of different temperature and density, heavier seawater will be at the bottom layer while the lake water will be at the top. Seawater and lakes should not mix, and while in it, we will be able to feel the temperature difference where the top water layer is cold while the bottom water layer is hot.
Pantai Kerachut TCIC is located far from the public settlement, in accordance with its function as a conservation center. The center has basic infrastructure facilities such as:
- Briefing Area
- Staff Rest House
- Toilet and bathroom
- Goods storage and electric power room
As the Center is in the National Park area, there are no resorts nearby the TCIC. However, visitors can stay around Georgetown, Batu Feringgi and Teluk Bahang. The area also provides eateries, grocery stores, souvenirs, clinics and other tourist services.
Below are the main activities conducted at the Center:
- Protects turtles from human & wild animal interference during landing & laying eggs.
- Conduct hatching, conservation and research programs on turtles.
- Provide information and provide various educational activities as well as public awareness on the importance of protecting the turtles.
- Organize various CSR programs with government agencies, private sectors, educational institutions & the public related to turtle conservation.
- Restore the turtle’s natural habitat by planting ambong-ambong trees (Scaevola taccada) along the coast.
By Land Road
Through the North-South Expressway, visitors will exit at the Penang Bridge intersection. Find directions to Batu Feringgi and continue to Teluk Bahang. The journey from Kuala Lumpur is almost 375 kilometers while from Georgetown is almost 30 km. Visitors are required to continue the journey by sea route.
By Sea Route
Next, visitors need to take a speedboat from Teluk Bahang Jetty to Pantai Kerachut. The journey will take approximately 30 minutes. The center is located not far from Pantai Kerachut Jetty.