The coral reefs in the
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park devastated by the Storm Greg in
1997 will hopefully be rehabilitated with the planting of 200
reef balls in the area.
The RM400,000 pilot project by Sabah Parks is to
restore ailing coral reefs and create new marine life in the
park, which consists of five islands popular with tourists and
Successful in protecting sea turtles in
other projects, the reef balls are expected to do the same
here, while preventing fishing trawlers from entering the
protected area and preventing beach erosion.
balls, each weighing about 2,722kg and 1.37 metres high, have
sharp and coarse surfaces ideal for coral formation and marine
The project was launched today by Tourism,
Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Karim Bujang
at Pulau Manukan, the most popular island within the
Also present were Sabah Parks director Datuk
Lamri Ali, assistant director Paul Basintal, Borneo Divers
managing director Clement Lee and representatives of related
REHABILITATION PROJECT: Karim (second from
right) and Lamri checking out the reef balls on the
At the launch, several reef balls were
dropped into the sea near the island from a barge.
environmentally-friendly reef balls were first used by the
Sarawak Government at Batu Penyu near Pulau Talang-Talang in
A study by the Sarawak branch of the Fisheries
Research Institute has shown that reef balls proved to be
efficient in preventing trawling activities, especially near
turtle nesting beaches.
Another private dive resort on
Pulau Mataking has also started using reef balls to
rehabilitate its corals for the diving industry.
the re-growth may take time depending on the surrounding
environment and health condition of the reefs.
half a million of these reef balls are being used in 3,400
projects in 43 countries around the world.
the funding for these projects is not cheap, so we hope that
more corporate companies and NGOs will offer to help us with
this worthy cause," said Karim.
An estimated RM1.5
million is expected to be spent on a similar project in the
Selingan Turtle islands, off Sandakan, next year.
Nevertheless, Karim said, the Government still needed
the people’s understanding and co-operation to make such
projects successful in the long term.