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Tourism developments depleting Malaysian coral

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Tourism developments depleting Malaysian coral

Post Number:#1  Postby timyang » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:45 am

Reef Check Malaysia’s latest annual report paints a bleak picture of the coral ecosystem.

The 2010 annual report, the fourth since Reef Check started operations in the country, rates Malaysia’s live coral cover as “fair” (scoring 44.3%) as opposed to “good” or “excellent”.

The low percentage is of concern, given the rise in pollution from increased tourist development in the east coast of the Peninsula.

Reef Check’s work is largely survey-based, and the accompanying annual survey report’s Nutrient Indicator Algae Growth showed algae growth had risen from 1.2% to 4.7%, attributable mainly to sewage pollution.

Reef Check’s general manager, Julian Hyde, points out that many resorts rely on individual septic tanks that need regular maintenance (also known as “de-sludging”) but do not do so.

“As far as they know, they’ve never maintained them (the septic tanks). That pollution is not going somewhere, it’s going into the sea.”

The report also states that blast and cyanide fishing methods are widespread around Sabah and have ruined formerly pristine reefs, like those surrounding the islands off Semporna.

Hyde adds his concerns that coral reefs under pressure from climate change are struggling to recover due to added pressure from both threats.

“If we could reduce all of these other problems, we could withstand the impact of coral bleaching,” he concludes.

o For more information on Reef Check Malaysia’s Annual Survey Report and the Annual Summary Report 2010, visit
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