MIRI, Sept 1: Some 40 divers have removed five kilogrammes of debris from the ocean during the Coral Reef Cleaning and Monitoring programme held at Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park yesterday (Aug 31).
Organised by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), the divers involved were from SFC, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Department of Fisheries, marine police, Northern Sarawak Journalists Association (NSJA), Whaleshark Miri, Dive@Borneo, Miri Divers, Future Ocean Borneo, Kenyalang Underwater and Forest Department Sarawak.
The event was also part of an effort to increase awareness on marine pollution.
SFC chief executive officer (CEO) Zolkipli Mohamad Aton emphasised that coral reefs were abundant around the Miri-Sibuti coastal zone, which was now more vulnerable to human threats such as trawlers and ghost nets that cling to the bottom of the ocean.
“Thus, I’m also concerned that there are five trillion (pieces of) plastics in the ocean estimated in 2019 and wreaking havoc on the marine ecosystems.
“This is a global crisis that needs to be taken care of, starting from us,” he reminded those present when officiating at the event at Marina Bay Jetty here in conjunction with the 63rd National Day celebration.
Zolkipli, who is also the Controller of National Parks and Nature Reserves as well as Wildlife, expressed his gratitude to all participants and welcomed more collaborations in the future.
Members of the public who wish to do any recreational diving activities may contact Miri Coral Reef National Park at 019-4694690 (park warden Abdul Ajis) or the Miri Regional Office helpline at 019-8290994. — DayakDaily