1,200 Artificial Reef Balls Being Deployed Along Muara Tebas-Sebuyau Coastal Waters

art-251-01-03072020Artificial reef balls on the sea floor

In playing its role to intensify marine conservation efforts in Sarawak, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is deploying 1,200 artificial reef balls along the coastal waters of Muara Tebas-Sebuyau.

The deployment is part of SFC’s reef ball project that has been implemented since 2018, and is expected to be completed within a week from 29 June 2020.

The overall project, which costs RM70 million, aims to deploy 17,200 reef balls along Sarawak’s coastline for the preservation and conservation of the State’s marine ecosystems, and the creation of new eco-tourism sites dedicated to activities such as scuba diving and sport fishing.

Specifically, the project intends to help conserve endangered marine species such as sea turtles by protecting their habitats and migratory routes between feeding grounds and nesting beaches.

Since the implementation of the project, 600 reef balls have been deployed in the waters of Belawai-Paloh in 2018, 600 in Lawas in 2019, and 1,200 between Igan and Mukah in 2019. The next reef ball deployment is expected to be along the coastal waters of Daro.

“What we (Sarawak) are doing is preserving and protecting our coastal areas, as well as the environment and ecosystem so that the wildlife will be there,” stated Chief Minister YAB Datuk Patinggi Dr Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg during the launching of the deployment at Muara Tebas-Sebuyau.

He also noted that the deployment of artificial reef balls along Sarawak’s coastlines would help improve the livelihood of local fishermen by enhancing marine resources and protecting their fishing grounds from illegal trawlers.

“Based on the data we have received following the deployment of the reef balls, the number of fishes caught has increased, thus enabling the fishermen to earn a higher income,” he said.

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