Coral bleaching due to climate change

by | Jun 26, 2024 | NATIONAL, NEWS, SUSTAINABILITY | 0 comments

The Malaysian Fisheries Department disclosed that over half of the coral reefs in Malaysian waters have been affected by coral bleaching between April and June this year due to increased sea surface temperatures.

The most affected reefs are in shallow waters of less than 10m in depth particularly the marine park islands in four states, namely: Pulau Payar (Kedah); Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang and Pulau Tenggol (Terengganu); Pulau Tioman (Pahang) and Pulau Pemanggil (Johor).

Intelligence gathering from dive operators, divers and surveys by NGOs such as Reef Check Malaysia confirm mass bleaching and therefore the Fisheries Department is closely monitoring the situation.

The department is also collaborating with representatives from Sabah and Sarawak, local researchers and NGOs to establish the Malaysia Coral Bleaching Response Committee to gather data and information.

Other measures being undertaken by the department include advising tourism operators on marine park islands to control the number of tourists engaging in water activities to reduce pressure on the reefs.

The department stated that if bleaching exceeds 80 percent intervention such as restrictions of access to reefs will be carried out and the reduction of single use plastics and the proper disposal of all waste products will be implemented.