Malaysia setting the pace for the Philippines – Conserving Tioman’s coral reefs

PETALING JAYA (July 4, 2012): The first artificial reef coral project in Peninsular Malaysia using the Biorock process is scheduled to be fully operational by early next month.

Based at the Tioman Island’s Tekek Bay, it will use the Biorock process, a new method that uses low-voltage electricity on submerged metal structures to stimulate the growth of artificial reefs.

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) head of communications Andrew Sebastion said the electricity was sourced from the island’s main power generator.

He said a preliminary study was conducted for one-and-a-half years to determine the safety of the project.

MNS, however, welcomed feedback from the public to ensure the safety of the island’s biodiversity.

“The project is with the collaboration of Berjaya Cares Foundation,” Sebastian said at a cheque presentation ceremony at Berjaya Tioman Resort recently.

Berjaya Cares is providing a grant of 2.3 million Pesos to MNS for its coral reef rehabilitation project on the island.

Berjaya Land Berhad executive director Leong Wy Joon presented the cheque on behalf of the foundation to MNS executive director Shah Redza Hussein.

Leong also signed a corporate pledge for the “I’m FINished With FINS” (Save The Shark) Campaign, organised by Singaporean chapter Shark Savers, a non-profit marine conservation organisation dedicated to saving sharks through awareness, education and grassroots action.

With this pledge, the company’s 18 hotels and resorts worldwide will no longer serve shark fins at their premises.

Sebastian said Tekek Bay was chosen as its coral population almost disappeared due to coral bleaching in 2008.

He said the project, part of MNS’s coral rehabilitation project, will include a series of one-day workshops  on coral reef’s conservation for the local community.

He added that school children from Tekek village will also be taught to conduct beach auditing where among the activities includes forming a database of non-organic waste they collected at selected areas of Tekek beach.

they will use a database will help to identify the types of wastes found at the beach.

Elly Fazaniza newsdesk@thesundaily.com  4 July 2012

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