The following is the text from a pamplet released in Malaysia about the
Reef Ball Sarawak Project....the pamplet with pictures will be available
on our website at
http://www.reefball.org/projects/malaysia/sarawak.htm. Here's just the text...
Sarawak is the first place in Asia to use environmentally friendly "Reef
Balls" to conserve its marine life - marine turtles in particular. The
Sarawak Reef Balls Project was initiated because of a directive from YB
Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min, Sarawaks Minister of Environment and Public
Health to `seed' the area around Talang-Satang Islands with reef balls
because he wanted to promote sea turtle conservation.
WHAT ARE REEF BALLS?
Reef balls are a new technology that is now being used worldwide to build
environmentally friendly artificial reefs.
CHARACTERISTICS OF REEF BALLS
•Reef balls are constructed using cement of the same pH as salt water with
use of special admixtures and micro silica. This ensures that the reef
balls mimic natural reef limestone and remain stable.
•They contain no toxins (e.g, heavy metals, petroleum, PCBs) that leach
into sea water, neither do they contain any biologically active compounds
(e.g., iron, copper, fertilizers, vitamins).
•They remain stable on the sea bottom, even during cyclones.
•They are predicted to last at least 500 years.
•They have a variety of surface textures to enhance the settlement of
•They have holes that not only go into the reef ball but between it walls.
A large open area in the centre is designed to provide shelter for fish,
and the holes create vortices which feed the invertebrates and corals.
•They have sharp textured surfaces, which are capable of ripping trawler
nets. When the reef balls are placed in small clusters, they provide a
physical barrier on which trawler nets will become entangled.
WHY BUILD REEF BALLS?
Human activities and natural disasters have led to reductions in our
natural reef systems and marine resources. The growth in sport fishing,
SCUBA diving, and boating has increased the pressures on these systems.
Commercially, our seafood industry depends on development of the ocean to
allow larger, yet sustainable, harvest. The loss of our natural systems,
coupled with increased use, COMPELS US TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO SAVE
NATURAL REEFS AND MARINE RESOURCES. Natural reefs cannot rebuild
themselves fast enough to meet human demands. Long-lasting artificial
reefs (reef balls) are useful tools for restoring our reef systems to a
natural and productive state.
POSSIBLE USES OF REEF BALLS
Reel balls can be used for any or all of the following purposes:
•Illegal trawler prevention (damaging trawler nets to conserve the marine
•Sea wall construction
•Regeneration of damaged reef areas
•Creating secure anchorages for moorings and maker buoys
•Creating recreational SCUBA diving sites
•Creating lobster nurseries
•Providing habitats for fish and other marine life
December 1997: Sarawak's Ministry of Environment and Public Health
provided a warrant to commence the project. Purchase of six molds from
Reef Ball Development Group Ltd., USA.
The "Sarawak Reef Balls Working Group" was formed.
Training session with Reef Balls Development Group Ltd. trainers
Contractor commenced manufacturing reef balls.
Official opening of Phase 1 of Project 1 by YB Datuk Amar James Wong Kim
Min, Minister of Environment and Public Health.
Official launching of Phase 2 of Project 1 by YB Dato Dr James Jemut
Masing, Minister of Tourism:- 240 reef balls were deployed.
Testing the effectiveness of reef balls in damaging trawler nets
Official launching of Phase 3 of Project I by YB Datuk Haji Adenan Haji
Satem, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries: - 260 reef balls were
CHARACTERISTIC & MANUFACTURING COST OF REEF BALLS
Module type Width Height Cost
Reef ball 1.83m 1.22m RM450.00
REEF BALLS MONITORING
The Sarawak Reef Balls Working Group found that:
•The development of coral colonies (soft corals, hard corals and sponges)
on reef balls is very encouraging
•Other marine life (fishes, barnacles, , sea urchins, nudibranchs,
lobsters) also can be found around reef balls areas.
•Reef balls are very effective in damaging trawler nets.
There is a plan to `seed' 100,000 Reef Balls through Sarawak's sea. Public
and companies who are aware and care about marine life conservation and
the environment are invited to come forward to sponsor the manufacturing
of reef balls.
You can help to save Sarawak's turtles and other marine life by sponsoring
the manufacture of reef balls. For further information, please contact:
Mr Oswald Braken Tisen
Mr James Bali
THE SARAWAK REEF BALLS WORKING GROUP
On 8th April 1998, the Sarawak Reef Balls Working Group
was formed, consisting of the following government agencies:
• Sarawak Forestry Department
• Marine Fisheries Department, Sarawak
• Marine Department, Sarawak
• Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Sarawak
• Ministry of Environment and Public Health
• Sarawak Museum
• Ministry of Tourism
• Ministry of Social Development
• Marine Police Contingent, Sarawak
• Sarawak Turtles' Board
• Sarawak Tourism Board
• Natural Resources and Environment Board
The purpose of this group is to oversee all reef ball projects
in Sarawak, to ensure a coordinated sound approach to
marine conservation, to coordinate the use of reef balls in the
State, and to monitor the progress of coral colonies and other
marine life growth on the reef balls.
AIMS OF THE SARAWAK REEF BALLS PROJECT
•To deter illegal trawling
•To providing secure, environmentally-friendly achorages for buoys
•To provide eco-tourism dives sites
•To create new colonies of coral growth
•To enrich the marine resources
http://www.reefball.org/projects/malaysia/sarawak.htm for the full