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Ongkili urges gazetting of Tun Mustapha marine park

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Ongkili urges gazetting of Tun Mustapha marine park

Post Number:#1  Postby timyang » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:05 am

KOTA KINABALU: A proposed one million hectare marine park in northern Sabah should be gazetted as soon as possible to pave the way for its protection and conservation.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said recent studies have shown that the Tun Mustapha Marine Park was ecologically more diverse than Australia’s famed Great Barrier Reef or the Carribean.

“It has been seven years since the intention to set up the park was announced.

“Any further delay will lead to the sensitive areas being further degraded,” he said, adding that gazetting the marine park would ensure sustainable development of the marine resources there.

The proposed marine park covers the coastal areas of Kudat, Kota Marudu and Pitas districts including 50 islands. It has also been identified by experts as a Priority Conservation Area.

When gazetted, the Tun Mustapha Marine Park would become the largest marine conservation area in Malaysia. An estimated 80,000 people live within its vicinity and depend on fishery resources for their livelihood.

The marine park encompasses Marudu Bay and Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) researchers recently completed a study to find ways to sustainably develop the area.

The study was discussed at a seminar conducted by the ministry’s National Oceanography Directorate for stakeholder in the northern town of Kudat.

The speakers identified 10 potential business opportunities including green tourism, homestays, aquaculture, sea cucumber and cage fish rearing, oyster breeding, sea transportation, mangrove boardwalks and bird observatories, said Dr Ongkili.

The ministry, through the National Oceanography Directorate, had allocated RM1.2mil to fund six research and development projects at Marudu Bay, including the UPM study which commenced last year.
Last edited by SuperAdmin on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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