By Reef Check Malaysia
The Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) survey season has begun and we are now almost half of the way through, having completed surveys for Perhentian, Redang, Payar and Tioman island, while certifying 35 new EcoDivers; not to mention the surveys at Sembilan Islands off the West coast, completed at the beginning of the year. RCM would like to thank the staff at DMPM and also all the committed volunteers who covered a total of 41 sites with us.
In the month of June, two Rainforest to Reef coral reef camps were held in Pulau Tioman. The first was comprised of 30 students from 2 different schools, SK TTDI (2) and SK Brickfields from Kuala Lumpur, supported by KPMG Malaysia. We would like to make a special mention of Puan Kok, the headmistress of SK Brickfields, who took the time to attend the camp. Her passion and effort towards her students’ development is truly remarkable!
We would also like to thank the Ministry of Education for sending 3 representatives from the co-curriculum department to evaluate the camp. Their insights were very valuable towards the improvement of the activities conducted. And fortunately, their overall response was extremely favorable. They also expressed an interest in collaborating with us to allow more children to be exposed to the program.
On the 23rd of June 2012, another coral reef camp got underway. Also held in Tioman, this camp was supported by Alstom Power Malaysia. The camp hosted the children from the local school, SK Tekek. The Rainforest to Reef program with Alstom is now into its fourth year, an extension from a 3 year program.
We have new updates from our nurseries, which focus on reef rehabilitation. In Pangkor, we have created a new frame design in order to reduce the impact of underwater currents to the frames, increasing the survivability of the coral nubbins. Our last analysis of Tioman showed very positive results. Survivability rates were either the same or better than before. The nubbins are progressing better than we had expected. The project in Perhentian is the latest addition to RCM’s Reef Rehabilitation initiatives. At this site, we’re working to reduce the number of nubbins being harvested from donor sites while increasing the diversity of coral.
It has been just over a month since Reef Check Malaysia officially launched its office in Kota Kinabalu, and things have been going very well since. In the next month or so, RCM programs will commence with planning almost finalized. The core of RCM’s programs in KK will be focused on combating destructive fishing methods such as fish bombing, considering the severity of the problem there. A school environmental education program has been designed together with KK Reef Watch to conduct activities at various schools in Sabah. Its aim is to provide basic environmental education to school populations, based around a series of presentations and station games.
Find out more about us at www.reefcheck.org.my