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Protect Penang’s remaining mangrove forests
Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association (Pifwa) said over 100ha of mangrove forests on the island, which is almost equal to 60 football fields, have been cleared and destroyed for development.
This has caused coastal marine species to become extinct and exposed the local community to rising sea levels.
This is why help is needed to protect the remaining mangrove forests which is an important fisheries source besides stabilising the coastline ecosystem and preventing soil erosion.
The only sizable mangrove forest on the island now is in Balik Pulau and North Seberang Prai. Pifwa urged the authorities to gazette the remaining tracts to protect the mangrove forest.
Currently, fishermen in Penang are dependent on the vast mangrove forest in Kuala Sepetang, Perak for their livelihood.
The Matang Mangrove Forest in Kuala Sepetang covers about 40,000ha and was gazetted as a permanent forest reserve in 1906.
It is the largest in Peninsular Malaysia and is recognised as the best managed sustainable mangrove ecosystem in the world.