Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The End of Shark Feeding At Pulau Payar?

Yes! I have heard this very loud and clear from one of snorkeling and diving operators at Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi. And this operator are the good guys out there and the best at Pulau Payar Marine Park.

I met the owner of this company recently and he was very happy to tell me that all sorts of nonsense feeding is now banned at Pulau Payar. And of course, I am happy to hear this indeed though I have yet to see any written statement from the Jabatan Taman Laut (Marine Parks Department).

While I was at the Kuah Jetty this evening, I found this outdated billboard by the bus parking lot. It shows a Black-Tipped Reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) was going straight for the food handed out by the guide in the wet suit (center of the family).

To the authorities here, you can tear this billboard down now as it is no longer valid.

And tourists being tourists, shark feeding is a fun thing to watch yet not realising the hidden risks to themselves and also the negative impact of the feeding to the ecosystem. Report on Shark Attack in Pulau Payar here 

Alas, a great news indeed for Pulau Payar Marine Park! Should you spot any visitors or even the operators themselves are feeding the sharks, please report to the Jabatan Taman Laut (Marine Parks Department) based on the island. If your complains have fallen on the deaf ears, please take pictures and email them to me. Even better if you can snap pictures first before making a complaint. 


  1. Great ....if now also the Eagle feeding would be banned this would also be a great success ... I think that much more people feed the eagles and dont know that they harm the birds!

    1. Hi Kat,
      I agree with you totally. Perhaps that the tourists cannot be blamed entirely due to their lack of awareness. Those who are responsible would be the operators, some guides and the @#%* authorities. I ran out of comments for these group of people.

  2. I was out snorkelling at the platform 3 months ago and I saw some snorkellers with bottles of white bread to feed the coral fish. I asked the operator why they were handing them out and he said it was the agents who booked the trip who gives it to them. He said it's hard to get them to stop. I have no idea what the environmental impact of feeding coral fish with yeast and bleached, processed flour is but it can't be good.

    1. Hi Anonymous Feb 29th,
      Thanks for your input.
      It was less than 2 months ago that I received this news from the operator. Probably, the ban was not implemented yet at the marine park. You can put your comments/opinions across via tripadvisor, etc. which can be effective.
      From what I understand that yeast may affect the reproductive cycle of the coral reef fishes.

  3. I'm happy that shark feeding is finally banned in Pulau Payar and I hope this will be applied in other diving spots around the planet. However, any tourist destination especially diving spots should first increase the awareness campaign about the risks and negative effects of shark feeding. I appreciate your concern and effort in protecting sharks.

    1. Hi Jean Polo,
      Banning is one thing, enforcing is another. In which the latter, our malaysian authorities have problems with this task.

  4. Be very aware of BOX Jellyfish in Pulau Payar. They kill within 60 seconds and is the most lethal species of lellyfish. Even if u survive, u will be scarred for life.

    The authorities does not warn you of this (does not make good business) so be forwarned and carry vinegar in a small bottle if u must go into the seas there.

  5. Hi Anonymous Sept 19,
    Thank you for the update. A type of jellyfish known as sea nettle (genus: Chrysaora) may be mistaken as a box jellyfish sometimes. Do you have any photos of that jellyfish taken from P.Payar?


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