Protecting Malaysia's Richly Diverse Seascape
Author: Tan Cheng Li
Source: The Star Online
June 26, 2012
"Our coral reefs are slowly losing their shine. That, more or less, sums up the condition of this underwater realm, said to rival tropical rainforests in terms of species diversity.
Surveys by volunteer divers show that our reefs have only “fair” coverage of live hard and soft corals. In fact, coral cover has declined over the last three years, from 49.94% to 42.57% last year. Sponges, algae, recently killed corals, rocks, rubble, sand and silt make up the rest of the reefs. (Coral coverage of 51% to 75% is considered “good” and above that, “excellent”.)
Some reefs are smothered by algae, pointing to nutrient pollution that is likely to have come from poor sewage treatment. Many species of fish which are routinely used to gauge healthy reefs were absent during the surveys carried out by volunteers trained in the Reef Check survey method."
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