Marine Biologist, Reef Check Malaysia
Idyllic holidays spent scuba diving around Perhentian Island instilled in Alvin Chelliah a deep love for the ocean and its treasures. The Kajang-born lad saw marine science as a way to live and work in close proximity to the ocean and now runs Cintai Tioman, a Reef Check Malaysia programme that trains the locals on Tioman Island in marine resource management.
As the entities most reliant on and affected by the ocean at their doorsteps, the islanders are equipped with skills such as scuba diving, reef health monitoring, basic reef rehabilitation, mooring lines installation, ghost net removal and rapid response in the event of emergencies such as oil spills. Leisure and hospitality staff at this popular tourist destination are also guided in environmental best practices.
“Even from my youth, I could see the creeping effects of human activity on the marine landscape, especially in the declining health of the reefs,” says Alvin. “It’s great to see growing efforts in protecting the oceans, but it’s also disheartening to see how much more there is to do still. It’s honestly never-ending. The ocean and the life it supports are some of our greatest resources, and we need to get everyone involved in saving them.”
Jacket, top and pants from Salvatore Ferragamo