Submitted by Reef Check Malaysia
Each June, the world celebrates World Coral Day on the 1st of the month, World Environment Day on the 5th, World Ocean Day on the 8th and Coral Triangle Day on the 9th. While for us at Reef Check, every day is an important ocean day, it nevertheless is great to celebrate these days alongside the public who may only think of ocean issues on these special days.
Therefore, in conjunction with what we call the Ocean Month, our team in Malaysia has been tirelessly working with and alongside government officials and the local community.
The team over in the islands in Mersing, Johor conducted a beach cleanup at Pantai Teluk Cina, Pulau Sibu – a beach not easily accessible to villagers. As part of the #cleanseas campaign, seven people were involved in the cleanup and a total of 447 kg of trash were collected.
Reef Check Malaysia was also invited to participate in a conservation activity in conjunction with World Coral Day. Seven divers from the Department of Fisheries and one representative from Reef Check Malaysia conducted maintenance activities at one of the coral replanting sites at Pulau Mentigi, Pulau Tinggi. Among the activities that took place were brushing off algae on the structures and removing barnacles.
With the local community, the team at Mersing conducted a virtual presentation via Facebook Live through the Majlis Daerah Mersing’s (The Mersing Local District Office) Facebook account. The talk, “Kepelbagaian Ekosistem Marin di Mersing – Tanggungjawab Bersama” (Marine Ecosystem Diversity in Mersing – A Shared Responsibility) was in celebration of World Environment Day. A virtual tour of the island, eco-diving and talks on the importance of protecting the ecosystem and an introduction of the various ecosystems in Mersing were part of the presentation.
In another Sabah series of activities for World Ocean Day, a team also completed their annual Reef Check survey for Mabul and Kapalai Island with trained EcoDivers. The dedicated volunteers also did underwater clean ups after finishing the surveys. This survey was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah (KEPKAS). And on June 10 – 12, the team in Sabah also held an EcoDiver training with youth from Mabul and Mantanani Island.
Heading over to Tioman Island, the team held a beach cleanup and reef rehabilitation with MTG Capital Sdn Bhd. The ‘Reef Rehabilitation and Beach Cleanup’ campaign on the 5th and 6th of June was done in conjunction with World Ocean Day. During the event, 15 people planted 100 corals and collected a total of nine bags of trash, amounting to 70 kg of trash collected. And as we all know, the work never ends! The Tioman team went for another beach clean up in conjunction with Coral Triangle Day on the 9th of June.
Also, Reef Check Malaysia’s General Manager, Julian Hyde joined 140 people from Yayasan Sime Darby and Sime Darby group of companies at Pantai Kelanang for a cleanup for World Ocean Day. The group successfully collected 1,074 kg of trash all in a day’s work.