04 Sep Conservation and Sustainability at Murex Snorkeling
At Murex Snorkeling our number one priority is to promote conservation and ensure that our reefs, marine life and natural landscapes are protected. As the pioneers of underwater exploration in North Sulawesi we see ourselves as guardians of our ocean. Murex’s founder, Dr. Hans Batuna was pivotal in promoting marine conservation in North Sulawesi and he was instrumental in the creation of the Bunaken Marine Park – one of Indonesia’s first Marine Protected Areas. Today we aim to follow in Dr. Batuna’s footsteps.
Today Murex works with a number of conservation organizations and the Indonesian Government as well as developing our own Murex initiatives. We aim to safeguard the natural beauty which we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep.
Our environmental commitments and initiatives fall into the following categories:
– Plastic Reduction
– Cleanups and Coastal River Guardianship
– Plastic Recycling
– Solar Power
– Coral Reef Awareness and Regeneration (Ocean Gardening)
– Responsible Marine Tourism
– Local Community Education and Economic Support
Sustainability and Plastic Reduction Initiatives
– We do not use plastic drinking straws and we do not supply plastic water bottles. Upon arrival our guests are presented with a reusable drinking bottle which can be filled up from water stations around our resorts. All guest accommodations have water dispensers and reusable cups and we have the same system on our boats so we never need to use plastic bottles in our resorts.
– We worked together with Dr. Sylvia Earle and local Government through the Celebrate the Sea initiative to prevent the use of single-use plastic in Manado.
– We encourage our suppliers to limit plastic packaging wherever possible and we use eco-bags instead of plastic bags and encourage all Murex staff to do the same.
Cleanups and Coastal River Guardianship
Plastic pollution is still a problem in North Sulawesi and affects our villages and local communities as well as our reefs, beaches, mangrove forests, coastal rivers and estuaries.
– We regularly undertake underwater cleanups and beach cleanups at both Murex Resorts
– Murex Manado property includes a river which passes through the resort prior to entering the ocean. We safeguard the coastal reefs by cleaning the river of waste prior to it washing into the ocean. In the future, we plan to construct a river grate to prevent plastics from continuing into the ocean.
– At both Murex Manado and Murex Bangka our waste is sorted and disposed of according to type. Plastic waste at Murex Bangka is collected and shipped to Manado and eventually to Surabaya on Java, which is where Indonesia’s main plastic recycling operation is based.
– Our future plans are to arrange for plastic collections from Murex Manado and also ship waste plastics to Surabaya – this will include waste from beach and underwater cleanups as well as waste from our proposed river catchment project
Sustainable Solar Power
Despite the remote location of Bangka Island, in 2018 we undertook the challenging task of installing 38 solar panels and a battery system at Murex Bangka Resort.
Our solar panels are now in use and are generating “clean electricity” for our accommodation on the island.
Coral Reef Awareness, Conservation and Regeneration (inc. Ocean Gardening)
Coral reefs and marine protection is not just a job – it’s our passion. On every single snorkeling trip our guides pick up any marine debris they find along the way. In addition to this we have adopted the following principles:
– All guests are given boat and snorkeling briefings which include information regarding the marine environment and how to enjoy it responsibly
– We do not sell coral items in our gift shops
– We host regular marine life presentation evenings to spread the word about reef protection, marine life and marine ecosystems to guests around the world.
– We have Ocean Gardener trained staff who can teach coral identification courses!
Ocean Gardener Community Training in Lihunu Village
– We have placed artificial reef structures including fish balls on our Murex Manado House Reef to encourage coral growth, fish life and to create safe habitats for vulnerable, juvenile fish and we have developed a coral farm off Bangka Island which is thriving
– Together with Ocean Gardener, we undertake community programs in our local village of Lihunu on Bangka Island where the villagers are educated about corals, the importance of corals, and how to grow and farm corals to increase fish stocks.
– We support Lihunu village’s marine protected area initiatives and supply buoys and lines to demarcate no fishing and protected reef areas – including Murex Bangka House Reef.
Sustainable Marine Tourism
We believe that with care, consideration and a desire to succeed, marine tourism can contribute to the future of healthy, flourishing reefs.
– All Murex guests are briefed and reminded about marine responsible practices including not touching the corals, not standing on the reef, not harassing marine life, picking up any marine debris and leaving the reefs in the same condition, if not better, for the next visitor.
– All Murex resorts guests who snorkel in the Bunaken Marine Park are required to purchase Marine Park Tags to help support the ongoing success of the MPA.
– Murex snorkeling boats do not drop anchors on the reef.
– Murex Resorts are active members of the NSWA (North Sulawesi Water Sports Association). NSWA are committed to promoting marine conservation and snorkeler safety in North Sulawesi.
– Both Murex Manado and Murex Bangka source sustainably caught fish
– Our accommodation and planned developments for our resorts focus on preserving the natural environment and ensuring that our resorts blend into their natural surroundings.
Local Community Conservation Education and Economic Support
Coral reefs and marine environments can not flourish without the support of local communities and these communities likewise, need to flourish. At Murex Resorts we are equal opportunities employers and we do not select staff on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity or religion. We aim to work alongside local communities by empowering them and providing them with the tools they need to enjoy better standards of living and sustainable futures.
– We offer free English lessons to all members of local staff and provide professional training and certification with either PADI or SSI for all in-water staff
– We work closely with our local communities and provide education regarding coral regeneration and plastic pollution
– We support Marine Protected Areas around Bangka Island
– We try to employ staff from our local villages wherever possible and give them the training they need to succeed. Some of our staff have been with us for over 20 years as we provide them with clear employment paths which allow for personal development and growth within the company
– We use locally sourced produce in our restaurants, for construction and in all other operations, wherever possible to provide economic opportunities for local businesses, craftsmen and workers.
– We support and contribute to the Lembeh Foundation
Other Sustainability Initiatives
– We supported the University of Queensland in their coral reef monitoring of the Bunaken Marine Park in 2014 (Caitlin Project) & 2018 (Seaview Re-survey).
– The Bangka Conservation Fund and Murex Resorts were instrumental in lobbying of the local Government and the Indonesian High Court for eight years in order to shut down illegal mining on Bangka Island.
As you can see, conservation and sustainability play a huge part in what we do at both Murex Manado and Murex Bangka but we believe it’s all worthwhile – and in many instances, essential. We hope that when you stay, snorkel or explore North Sulawesi with us you will not only see the benefits of what we do but we hope you will get involved too!
Planning Your Next Vacation
Did you know that North Sulawesi is not just home to incredible snorkeling, there are a multitude of activities for those who want to stay active both in and out of the water?
Experience the thrill of white water rafting, trek to the summit of a volcano, explore the Minahasan highlands and discover North Sulawesi’s rarest wildlife in their natural habitats in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve.
Murex Resorts can tailor make your stay to include the activities that interest you most, and with our personalized service and friendly staff, you’ll experience an Indonesian holiday of a lifetime.