Gem Island (Pulau Gemia) is a privately owned island, about 800 metres off Kapas Island. Gem Island had white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, beautiful corals and fascinating marine life. In another effort to preserve wildlife, one of the beaches on Gem Island is used as a turtle hatchery. Terengganu is renowned as one of the few places where turtles (including the giant Leatherback) come ashore to lay their eggs. On the island the green turtle is the most common. But the Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtle are regular visitors. After laying, the eggs are collected and transferred by Gem Island staff to an enclosure on the beach. This protects them from marauding predators such as monitor lizards, crabs and seabirds.
About 2 months after being laid, the turtle hatchlings emerge from the sand and are put into sea water tanks, to be fed on jelly fish and other fishes, where both staff and visitors can check their progress. Finally when circumstance are most propitious, they are released in batches into the sea, all swimming off in the same direction, out into the ocean - a touching unforgettable sight. It is estimated that their chances of survival to reach maturity are increased from 2 to at least 20 percent by the assistance on Gem Island and other turtle hatcheries.