PORT DICKSON: In an effort to ensure coral reefs continue to thrive at Tanjung Biru and Monkey Bay here, a group of 90 volunteers including scuba divers planted 200 pieces of corals at the beach today.
Negeri Sembilan Fisheries director Halimi Abu Hanip said participants also clean up the beach and sea floor by picking up rubbish, and released 4,000 flower crab and turtle hatchlings into the sea.
“This is part of our efforts to take care of the corals and the diverse sea creatures here,“ he said after launching the Voluntourism Malaysia Bersih Indah Beach Clean-Up and Coral Reef Care programme, organised by the state’s fisheries department together with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and non-governmental organisations (NGO) such as Mountain Divers and Trash Hero.
He said the gazette of the area as a Fisheries Restricted Area prohibited any fishing activities, including picking up any shells or corals, within a distance of one nautical mile from the beach, in order to protect coral reefs and various marine species.
He said it is a challenging task for his department to protect coral reefs and other sea creatures in the area, as its location is near the beach and is easily accessible by the land.
“Unlike other Fisheries Restricted Area or Marine Parks, which are usually located in islands, coral reefs and sea habitat here is at high risk of being stolen or damaged.
“Apart from that, development and sand digging activities around here are also a concerned, that they will affect the coral reefs, like the plan to build a mega port and coastal reclamation,“ he said, stressing that the matter should be taken seriously by the government and developers. — Bernama