LAST_UPDATEThu, 19 Jul 2018 11pm

Nearly RM2 Mln Spent On Artificial Reefs In Labuan Waters Since 2008

Pic: BernamaPic: BernamaLABUAN: The government has spent a total of RM1.95 million on constructing 11 artificial reefs in seven waters of Labuan since 2008.

The funds channelled to the Labuan Fisheries Department were to help improve the livelihood of the island's fishermen.

The department's director Annuar Salam Sulaiman said the waters with the artificial reefs were in Tg Kubong, Daat Island, Sg Lada/Sg Pagar, Rusukan Besar Island, Layang-Layangan, Sg Labu and Sg Miri.

He said the reefs, each costing RM100, 000 to construct, were to help create habitats or shelters for the various types of fish and other marine life facing environmental threats, thus, improving the fish diversity.

"Despite having anchored the artificial reefs, there is no productivity research done so far, to assess their effectiveness in improving the fish diversity, by the method of species and behavioural identification, and comparing diversity measures with other healthy coral reef areas," he said to Bernama.

Annuar said the government had recorded a total of 160 artificial reefs anchored across the country, with Sabah having the most number at 37, followed by Terengganu (27), Kedah (19), Sarawak (14), Labuan (11), Kelantan, Selangor and Pahang (nine each), Perak (7), Johor (five), Penang and Melaka (four each), Negeri Sembilan (three) and Perlis (two).

"The anchorage of the artificial reefs is to increase biological productivity and fishery resources within the coastlines for the development of the fisheries industry.

"It is also aimed at rejuvenating and protecting marine habitats affected by uncontrolled fishing activities and natural disasters, besides minimising intrusion by trawler boats of the inshore waters, where our low-income local fishermen carry out their fishing activities," Annuar said.

He said the reefs which had long been anchored would eventually be beneficial to the recreational activity of scuba diving (for the tourism industry) and for scientific research and studies (for educational and industrial purposes).

Annuar said there were two construction methods currently applied by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia, for conservation reefs (for conservation and not for catching) and recreation reefs (for catching through controlled fishing) .