Sarawak's reef ball project is world's longest artificial reef

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (second right) looking at the certificate for the longest artificial reef, presented by Reef Ball Foundation chairman Todd Ryan Barber (second left) on Monday.

KUCHING: Sarawak's reef ball project has been recognised as the longest artificial reef in the world, says Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).

It said the recognition came from the Reef Ball Foundation of the United States, which presented a certificate and plaque to the state Natural Resources and Urban Development Ministry on Monday. (July 10)

The presentation was witnessed by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh and SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton.

"This recognition serves to honour the Sarawak reef ball project, which stands as a testament to the state government's leadership and unwavering commitment to sustainable practices and the protection of Sarawak's marine biodiversity," SFC said in a statement.

It said the state government allocated RM70mil for the project's first phase, followed by RM30mil under the second phase.

Under phase one, 16,800 reef balls were deployed from 2018 to 2022 along a 746km stretch of Sarawak's coastal waters.

"These reef balls function as a barrier to protect turtle migration routes from fish trawling activities, provide a new surface for coral reef restoration and enhance feeding grounds for marine resources to grow," SFC said.

Phase two of the project, from 2023 to 2027, aims to increase fishery resources, encourage marine-based ecotourism such as scuba diving and develop a coral farming pilot project as a new economic opportunity.

As the implementing agency, SFC said it is spearheading these initiatives to preserve marine life and manage Sarawak's diverse marine ecosystems.

"The state government's support and the Premier's leadership have enabled us to successfully execute projects like the Sarawak reef ball project, which has now set a global benchmark as the longest artificial reef," SFC said.

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