Replanting seagrass by the Fisheries Department to conserve habitat for dugongs

ISKANDAR PUTERI : The Fisheries Department replants seagrass in Pulau Sibu and Pulau Tinggi, Mersing. These are dugong habitats and grazing grounds.

Wan Muhammad Aznan Abdullah, Deputy Director General of Fisheries (Management), Fisheries Department said that the experts of the department worked in collaboration with Public Higher Education Institutions (IPTA), to attract these mammal species on the two islands which were gazetted Marine Parks.

“Sometimes, the current can be too strong to support the seagrass, as it was in Pulau Tinggi. It will displace the seagrass that is growing.” We will create artificial coral reefs so that seagrass is protected from the current.

When asked about the efforts of the Fisheries Department to save the dugong in Mersing waters, he said:

In a previous press release, the Fisheries Department said that dugongs are often found on Mersing Islands, but their numbers were shrinking due to threats against their habitat.

The Fisheries Department stated that the seagrass meadows surrounding Pulau Tinggi and Pulau Sibu were important dugong grazing grounds, as evidenced by the effects of the grazing during the seagrass survey, and since 2014.

Marine Mammal Research and Conservation, a division of the Fisheries Department, said that although the exact number is not known for the Mersing Islands, it suggests the dugongs population there will likely be less than 100.

Wan Muhammad Aznan, who was asked about mussels in Port Dickson waters that were contaminated with biotoxins, said they are still unsafe to eat.

He said, “The sale of mussels will be banned until the biotoxin levels are below 800 parts per trillion.”

Wan Muhammad Aznan stated that the Kuala Lumpur Fisheries Biosecurity Centre’s laboratory analysis showed that harmful algal growth had caused the mussels to be contaminated in Port Dickson waters and unsafe to consume.

Related Articles