Despite all the self-inflicted misery going on at Sipadan, there is hope elsewhere in Malaysia for the country’s coral reefs. Courier company DHL have been sponsoring the creation of a reef on the popular island of Palau Tioman
The Aquascape Reef has been growing for the last couple of years, using Aquascape artificial cement mounds to create a breeding ground for coral juveniles. The reef is not that much to look at yet, but the slow growth of corals means that its progress so far is encouraging for the scientists monitoring it.
From The Star newspaper article Coaxing corals to grow:
“Damsel fish, butterfly fish, wrasses and groupers dart around the structures while schools of breams, snappers, fusiliers and barracudas swirl above. Moray eels, hawksbill turtles and even a nurse shark have made the occasional appearance. A species of shellfish has even laid eggs inside the cavity of one Aquascape.
“There is a lot of positive results,” says UPM marine scientist Dr H.M. Ibrahim, who is supervising Wong’s research on marine ecology. “Coral growth has been quite good and the artificial reef is not only able to support diverse reef life, but is attracting other reef dwellers.”
The promising results have prompted courier company DHL Malaysia, which had sponsored 10 Aquascape in June 2004, to add another 58 units two weeks ago. “After placing the 10 Aquascape, we watched carefully their development to see whether they deliver the promise to grow and form part of the reef. They did, so we are adding more,” says DHL chief executive officer Scott Price.”
The article goes on to outline how DHL got involved and how they are the first corporate sponsor – it’s a pretty enlightened idea and one to be encouraged – marine restoration and regeneration programs are always in need of cash because they have to run over such a long period.