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Fisheries Dept: Malaysia's live coral cover rises to 54.23pc in 2023
Published on: Saturday, June 08, 2024
By: Bernama
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Fisheries Dept: Malaysia's live coral cover rises to 54.23pc in 2023
Fisheries director-general Datuk Adnan Hussain said based on Department of Fisheries records, the average National LCC in 2023 was at 45.87 per cent which is at a medium level, including protected and unprotected reef areas. — Bernama pic
PUTRAJAYA: The percentage of Live Coral Cover (LCC)) (hard coral and soft coral) in the waters of the Malaysian Marine Parks and Fishing Prohibited Areas (FPA) last year showed a good improvement, which is 54.23 per cent compared to 50.96 per cent in 2022.

Fisheries director-general Datuk Adnan Hussain said based on Department of Fisheries (DOF) records, the average National LCC in 2023 was at 45.87 per cent which is at a medium level, including protected and unprotected reef areas.

“The percentage of LCC in Marine Parks and FPA areas is higher than the percentage of National LCC.

“This comparison clearly shows the effectiveness of coral reef habitat management in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) administered by the DOF,” he said in a statement in conjunction with today’s World Oceans Day celebration.

Adnan said there are some permanent transects that show a decline in LCC due to factors such as the threat of Crown of Thorns (COTs) sites and various anthropogenic influences that affect reef health.

He said in line with the theme of World Oceans Day 2024, which is ”Catalysing Action for Our Oceans & Climate”, the DOF has carried out regular monitoring of coral reefs.

The monitoring conducted with non-governmental organisations, local researchers and volunteers is to assess the health and diversity of coral reef species.

“This monitoring is important to identify threats and pressures facing coral reefs, such as climate change, unsustainable fishing and land-based pollution,” he said.

He said the annual monitoring of water quality in Marine Parks is also carried out to monitor the level of water quality that affects the health factors of the coral reef habitat.

According to him, the DOF has installed five permanent water quality monitoring stations in Marine Parks that collect data at five-minute intervals.

He said the monitoring data will help the DOF in evaluating measures or proactive actions against the effects of climate change on the country’s ocean ecosystem.

Adnan at the same time said DOF is also involved in coral reef conservation efforts in degraded reef areas.

“Conservation of marine resources through a restoration approach is one of the methods to restore coral reef habitats that are threatened with deterioration,” he said.

He said an area of 1,045.63m2 in front of Pulau Redang Marine Park Centre, Terengganu had been successfully restored from the effects of destruction caused by Tropical Storm Pabuk which hit in 2019.

As for Kedah’s Pulau Payar Marine Park, Adnan said an area of 813m2 has been successfully restored and the effort continues in several other locations that have been identified around Marine Park areas such as Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang, Terengganu.

He said Pulau Tioman, Sibu-Tinggi, Redang and Perhentian Marine Parks have been identified as coral reef areas that are resilient against any threat of climate change.

“These areas will be given full protection to prevent coral bleaching in the future and more emphasis through special zoning to conserve the unique habitat in the areas.

“The sustainability of the coral reef ecosystem needs to be preserved to prevent the marine treasures from being destroyed due to human activities,” he said.

Adnan noted that the DOF, as the leader in the management of the country’s marine resources, will continue to give a high commitment in ensuring that the country’s sea waters are always preserved and that marine life is always protected for the sake of the sustainability of fisheries resources. 

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