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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Helping coral reefs grow

Low (front centre) and some of the 40 divers involved in the project.

Low (front centre) and some of the 40 divers involved in the project.

MERSING: To further beautify its private beach area and raise more corals for the benefit of the future generation, a group of volunteers and resort staff spent about three days on their first coral restoration project.

Care Luxury Hotels and Resorts (Care Luxury CARES) project leader Mohd Yahya Hamsain said the project aims to protect and conserve the coral reefs around Tunamaya Beach and Spa Resort by harvesting and replanting a total of 66 coral nubbin of the acropora species.

The volunteers helping to complete a coral frame structure for the project.
The volunteers helping to complete a coral frame structure for the project.

He said the initiative was supported by the Marine Park Malaysia Department, by providing four hand-designed coral frame structures using PVC pipes for the purpose.

“As the ocean conditions may damage the coral reefs from time to time, we started looking for a sustainable solution to allow them to thrive faster under adverse conditions and that is what made us embark on this initiative to meet our mission of “Keep The Coral Floral”.

“By doing so, we can protect and preserve our precious corals for the future generations to enjoy its natural beauty,” he said at a press conference held at Tunamaya Beach and Spa Resort on Tioman Island here.

Hand-designed coral frame structures being placed at the bottom of the sea, some 150m away from the beach.
Hand-designed coral frame structures being placed at the bottom of the sea, some 150m away from the beach.

He said the nine-month coral reef restoration project would also help create awareness on preserving coral reefs, ultimately creating a sustainable eco-tourism industry while protecting the island’s natural heritage.

“Our main effort is aimed at restoration and rehabilitating the coral reefs, and at the same time we can also educate our guests on ways to protect our diverse marine eco-system.

“The joint effort in cleaning and caring for our environment was indeed gratifying and enriching,” he said, adding that the activity reinforced Care Luxury CARES commitment towards supporting social causes which have a positive impact on the environment and society in the locations it operates in.

A volunteer tying acropora corals to a hand-designed frame for it to grow.
A volunteer tying acropora corals to a hand-designed frame for it to grow.

Mohd Yahya said the project involved over 40 divers from the Care Luxury CARES members, National Dive League (NDL), Marine Park Malaysia, Reef Check Malaysia and members of the media who took part in the initiative which was organised under their corporate social responsibility programme.

Meanwhile, NDL head diver and instructor John Low Teng Boon said once the frames are planted, they would be monitoring the growth of the corals from time to time.

“This is a very crucial process to ensure a healthy growth of the coral reefs.

The divers planting the corals.
A volunteer tying acropora corals to a hand-designed frame for it to grow.

“Although they are known to be resilient, they still need our help to grow.

“There are more than 400 species of corals and 500 species of fish around Tioman Island. However, human activities such as overfishing, coastal development, climate change and pollution are causing serious threats to our coral reefs and other marine life,” he added.

Tags / Keywords: Southern & Eastern Region

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