Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park now reef-ball protected

Rosey (front row), Jaul (on her left) and others posing for a group photo after witnessing the final deployment of reef balls.

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By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, March 25: A total of 600 reef balls, each weighing about a tonne, have been laid all around Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park (MSCRNP).

The last deployment of 200 of these artificial reef modules was carried out today, while the first 400 was done three days ago (March 22).

This initiative is a joint collaboration between the state government and Petronas. It kicked off in 2015, and so far 1,750 reef balls have been deployed, the rest in other parts of the state.

After Miri, the next target area is Lawas, said Deputy State Secretary (Rural Transformation) Datu Jaul Samion today.

“The reef balls are meant to promote the growth of fish and other marine life at the MSCRNP. This follows the success recorded in the waters of Sematan, where the amount of catches has improved significantly after reef balls were used,” he said.

“As we progressively keep the waters of Miri-Sibuti away from illegal trawlers, marine species would be able to grow and reproduce, providing a consistent source of income for traditional fishermen.”

In addition, more ecotourism activities, such as diving and sport fishing, could then be promoted further, he added.

Meanwhile, Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus, who was also present to witness the reef balls being lowered into the waters from a barge, said this project would benefit villagers from around the area, including those residing in Kampung Lajong, who are mostly fishermen.

Also present were Petronas Sarawak general manager Zulaihi Mohd Mantali, Sarawak Forestry Corporation general manager Oswald Braken and Regional Fisheries III Miri chairman Buniamin Kiprawi. — DayakDaily