Johor Marine Park
Tengah Island Conservation is located on the beautiful Tengah Island in the South China Sea. The island is approximately nine nautical miles off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, Pulau Babi Tengah (“Middle Pig Island” in the Malay language) is one of the islands in the Seribuat Archipelago. The island is one of 13 islands that make up the protected Johor Marine Park.
The interior of the island is covered in tropical forest; its 3 km circumference is adorned with eight sandy beaches framing clear waters and rocky outcrops. The rich marine life around the island includes healthy coral reefs that play host to dugongs, whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles.
Pulau Tengah was used as a location for an UNHCR Refugee Transit Camp from the mid-1970s to early 1980s. During this period around 120,000 boat people fleeing Vietnam transited through the island before being allocated a new country of refuge. Many ex-boat people come back to visit Pulau Tengah and stay with us at Batu Batu recounting their incredible stories. Many memories and photos can be found in this Facebook group.
After the refugee camp was closed, Pulau Tengah was used as the location for a small backpacker resort called Pirate Bay and later on the set for the Expedition Robinson and Koh Lanta - two European survival reality series.
Pulau Tengah Timeline
The Boat People
From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, Pulau Tengah was a United Nations’ Refugee Council Transit Camp for around 120,000 refugees from Vietnam who took perilous journeys by boat to seek sanctuary in Malaysia.
The resort opened its doors with the aim to provide an authentic experience whilst treading lightly on the island’s wild and natural environment.
The resort noticed that turtle nests were being poached from the back of the island. They collaborated with the Marine Park and the Department of Fisheries to start a hatchery to safeguard the eggs.
Turtle Watch Camp
A volunteer project was started to support the sea turtle hatchery and conservation efforts on Pulau Tengah.
TAJ Conservation Centre
The Tunku Abdul Jalil (TAJ) Conservation Centre was officially opened by His Majesty the Sultan of Johor on September 4th 2018.
Tengah Island Conservation
As our projects expanded and diversified, the project transitioned from Turtle Watch Camp to Tengah Island Conservation in January 2019 to reflect the variety of work being carried out.