13 November 2013
KUALA LUMPUR – Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) released a report on the results, challenges and lessons learned from its reef rehabilitation scientific methodology. The report, titled “Reef Rehabilitation Experiments: A Review of Results & Lessons Learned”, was compiled over a period of four years and provides valuable insights on the best approach for restoring damaged reefs.
In 2009, RCM initiated a reef rehabilitation programme in response to a request by a group of snorkel guides from Pangkor Island. The guides were concerned about their compromised livelihoods due to the poor condition of the reefs around the Island. RCM used a methodology developed in association with coral reef scientist Kee Alfian Abdul Adzis from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to implement this programme. Through several experiments conducted over time, RCM has been able to improve its approach to minimize coral mortality rates and ensure growth.
RCM General Manager Julian Hyde said: “We found it difficult to find published research on reasons for failure as most scientific papers cover research with successful results. As a result of this, we decided to share this report, which explains what we did and most importantly, what went wrong so that others can learn from our experience without having to repeat those mistakes.”
The report shares learnings such as the most practical design, best environments, maintenance and monitoring practices, and even potential threats (including from marine life and other sources) that other marine conservationists or organisations should look out for if they are considering such a programme.
RCM’s reef rehabilitation programme began in Pangkor Island with 12 coral nursery frames. It has since installed over 300 rehabilitation frames in popular dive sites on the islands of Perhentian and Tioman.
The reef rehabilitation programme is continually evolving to become more effective in rehabilitating corals. RCM continues to seek and work with its partners to establish new sites around Malaysia. The report can be downloaded from its website
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Last Updated: 07 February 2014