24 November 2008

WWF speaks up against oceanarium in Mabul, Sabah

Artificial reefs do not bring more fish for people to eat. By allowing young fishes to grow to maturity through protection of their natural habitat, fish numbers will increase. Damaged coral reefs and their resident fish populations can recover simply by stopping the threats that plague them. Said WWF-Malaysia in a Letter to the Editor which was carried in some Malaysian media.

WWF-Malaysia also added:
The reef-flats close to shore are waded-in every day at low tide to glean for sea urchins, seashells, and other marine resources. The edge of the reef is fished with hook-and-line for fishes and squids. Coastal waters surrounding Mabul Island are partly polluted by inadequate waste-water treatment and poor solid waste management to handle the land-based sources of pollution from villagers and resorts.

Tourists have complained of crowdedness on the island since two years back which indicates a growing loss of the wilderness value. The resources of Mabul Island – the land, the coral reefs and the coastal waters – are already heavily used.

A study carried out on Mabul Island and its surrounding marine ecosystems and coastal waters revealed that 85% of the island has already been cleared for village-housing, school-house and budget home-stay accommodation to five-star resorts. 80% of the coral reefs sites surrounding Mabul Island are used by all operators for muck-diving and 50% of the coral reefs, based on the agreement between the diving sector and the villagers, are open to fishing.
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