Meet the Tioman ‘ghostbusters’, a group of passionate islanders who are taking marine conservation into their own hands

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If you want something done right, do it yourself.

No better saying sums up a group of Tioman Island residents who have adopted a hands-on approach when it comes to protecting their home.

Known as “ghostbusters”, the Tioman Marine Conservation Group (TMCG) earned the nickname thanks to their frequent cleanups of ‘ghost nets’ which are fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost or discarded in the ocean.

These nets can entangle marine life such as dolphins, turtles, sharks, dugongs and other sea creatures by restricting movement and causing injuries and starvation.

TMCG began as a small group of five from Kampung Tekek and Kampung Air Batang in 2015 and today, the group has 65 members that come from all seven villages on the marine-diverse island.

The benefits of locals taking charge of conservation efforts means that unforeseen factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t hamper much of their efforts at a time when movement was largely restricted.

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