Sabah Ports operates all the major ports in Sabah.
Its Managing Director Datuk Dr Mohd Fowzi said being a sea-based business marine conservation is both a natural and logical choice as a CSR initiative for Sabah Ports.
"Sabah Ports' continuous support of marine conservation signifies its commitment to the conservation of marine ecosystems and marine life in the waters of Sabah," he said.
The project by Marine Research Foundation, led by it founder Dr Nicolas Pilcher, will provide crucial data on various aspects of turtle biology, which will lead to improved marine turtle conservation in the State.
It entails using laparoscopy, a form of keyhole surgery, to look at the ratio of male and female turtles in key feeding grounds in Sabah, and the proportion of juveniles, sub-adults and adults in these at-sea habitats. Genetic markers will also be used to link these turtles back to their original nesting sites.
Being the only project of its kind in all of South East Asia, it is aimed at supporting Sabah's sea turtle species, which are the largest and most robust sea turtle populations of the region.
According to Dr Pilcher, information collected from the research will be fed to government agencies such as Sabah Parks, the Wildlife Department and the Department of Fisheries to use in tracking sea turtle status, and take remedial action when needed.