Closure of marine parks to allow coral recovery process – Kurup


MARINE parks will be reopened after they have recovered from coral bleaching, said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

He said the closure of marine parks including that at Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian on July 2 was to allow the coral recovery process.

“Coral bleaching occurs when the sea temperature increases by 1-2 degree celcius from normal (28-29 degrees) for four weeks,” he said in reply to Datuk Dr Marcus Majigoh (BN-Putatan) in Dewan Rakyat here yesterday.

Kurup said factors that cause coral bleaching include acidity of seawater, lack of zooplanktons (food source for corals) and increased sedimentation that prevent light penetration needed for food production.

The Marine Parks Department had prepared an action plan comprising guidleline to mitigate the problem including forming a coral bleaching task force.

He said efforts to repair the habitat would be stepped up via zoning of marine parks for research and monitoring.

Marine Parks Department director-general Abd Jamal Mydin had said nine areas in islands gazetted as marine parks and three islands had been closed to recreational activities due to coral bleaching. — Bernama