You are on page 1of 11

Coral Reef Restoration in Marine Protected Area, Malaysia

AB RAHIM BIN GOR YAMAN


Director, Division of Planning and Management, Department of Marine Park Malaysia, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 11 Floor, Wisma Sumber Asli, No 25, Persiaran Perdana, Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

Preface This paper highlights the experience in restoration and rehabilitation of coral reefs in Malaysia for the last 15 years (1990 to 2005) using different techniques: artificial reefs and transplantation of live coral. Introduction Prior to 1990, Marine Park Section, Department of Fisheries has embarked on installation of artificial reefs as a tool to increase fish habitat rather that for rehabilitation of coral reefs. These reefs were installed at depth of more than 60 feet within and outside the boundary of 2 nautical miles from the islands. With the establishment of Marine Park in 1990, installation of artificial reefs for enhancement of fisheries resources were confined to areas outside the two nautical miles zone of the marine park area. However, as development on the islands that were surrounded by Marine Park has intensified beginning mid 1990s, the park authority has observed changes to the status of coral reefs that render the need for management intervention to halt or reduce the rate of deterioration. Programs were formulated to restore house-reefs that were impacted due to beaching of small boats, trampling by snorkellers and swimmers and due to land base sources of pollution. Beginning mid 1990s efforts to find the most practical and cost effective method to restore house reefs was carried out. Among the method used were habitat enhancement using artificial reef, transplantation, and using boundary marker to close the rehabilitation zone.

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Habitat Enhancement Using Artificial Reefs Criteria for choosing the type of artificial reefs were based on the need for easy mobilization, cheap (cost effective) and are not labor intensive. Trials were made in mid 1990s to use PVC pipe tubing. Various de sign and scale (size) were tested. One design (picture A attachment 2) was finally adopted for further testing. In 1995, five units were installed within the reef areas at depth of 15 feet at each of the two sites (Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang) in the state of Terengganu. The study shows that colonization of coral reefs on PVC material was slow and it took about 10 years to achieved the desirable growth (in picture B attachment 2 )

Rehabilitation site

Map 1: Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu, Malaysia

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Rehabilitation site

Map 2: Pulau Redang, Terengganu, Malaysia Transplantation Technique Coral reefs transplantation was done due to specific reason only, such as the coral reefs are in the way of a boat path or on the path of a jetty that was proposed. When ever possible, transplantation is the last resort after due consideration were given to others options, such as changing the location of the proposed construction. This technique were developed as a consequences of a need for a water jet powered boat to land at an area where there is no jetty to supply fuel to a government operated water distribution facility. Even though the boat never took the option of supply fuel through the proposed path, the marine park authority took the opportunity to conduct a pilot study to develop a technique to transplant branching corals. A transplantation technique were developed (attachment 1) and used during the transplantation process. Only branching corals were transplanted to an area 30 meter away from the source reef. About 100 clumps of branching coral were transplanted to an area of about 20 meter by 10 meter. The site was closely monitored for 6 months to ensure that the clumps were upright. (attachment 2, 3, 4 and 5shows the process of transplanting corals). The study shows that the survival rate was about 70%. It is a technique that is adopted by the marine park authority for restoration of small shallow reef (less than 20 feet) that was damage due to boat grounding and anchor damage. This technique could be further refine or modify to increase the survival rate of the transplanted coral if it is raised (at least half a meter) from the seabed.

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Zoning of Rehabilitation Zone Using Boundary Marker Technique Methods were also improvised to let the coral grow under natural settings with the use of boundary marker to demarcate the rehabilitated zone. Coral reef near the beach that was damaged was cordoned using line (rope) with float. Administrative arrangement with the local community was made to ensure that the area is off limits to any kind of boat. Resort operator was encouraged to adopt the area and report on any breaching of the administrative arrangement to the park authority. During the first year of implementation two pilot sites were chosen (Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang) in the state of Terengganu. To encourage and adapt proper mooring practices within the local communities, mooring buoys were strategically installed outside the area enclosed by the boundary marker. Nowadays the local resort operators took the initiative to use boundary marker to ensure the house-reef were protected. Anecdotal evidence shows that coral cover is better in the enclosed area as compared to areas that where not enclosed with boundary marker.

Lesson Learned Colonization of coral reefs on artificial reefs installed at shallow depth (3 to 5 meter) is slow. Transplantation of live coral is costly if a rigorous procedure is to be adhered to fulfill the prerequisite for good survival of the transplanted coral. Live coral is only suitable for transplanting to nearby areas (less than 100 meters), if it is to be transplanted without exposing to the air (taking it out of the water). Rehabilitation of coral at sites that was impacted due to changes in water quality is not economical as the survival rate is low. The best option is to zone the damaged area (rehabilitated area) and control the usage of the areas (off limit the destructive usage) and lets natural regeneration to take place as it is the most cost effective, minimal intervention, and does not litter the reef with foreign object or structure if artificial reefs were to be used.

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Attachment 1 Guidelines for Transplanting Coral Reefs It is known that corals will experience stress and ultimately die if it is exposed to for an extended period to poor water quality with high sediment load. Water quality could be brought about due to the implementation of coastal development projects Marine ark Authority, at times, is being task with preserving coral reef that lies within or at the vicinity of such projects. In these cases, the foremost tactic to rescue the corals is to do all things possible to avoid the construction or other identifiable changes. The first responsibility is to avoid harming our natural reef systems. As a last resort, and not as way of making it feasible', coral reef need to be translocated to a suitable and safe location. Not all coral type could be transplanted, and only the fast growing branching Acropora spp were suitable. This guidelines were tested, revised ad finally adopted for used in future transplantation of coral reefs for restoration of small area of reef. a) Survey the area and document existing species and relative abundances. b) Locate a suitable new location for the corals to be moved that has similar water quality and parameters. c) Before commencing on any transplanting project of coral reefs, a written approval must obtain from the Director, Marine Parks Section, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia. Condition is imposed, and among others, the transplantation work will have to be monitored and supervised by the staff of Marine Parks. d) The location where the source of coral transplants is to be gathered must be approved by the Director, Marine Parks Section, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia. e) Coral transplant must be hand pluck manually and the use of mechanized equipment is prohibited. f) Diver care and prudence should be adhered during the collection of coral transplants. Divers are prohibited from trampling on the coral, handling or touching coral other that the coral that is to be transplanted. Churning of sediment should be avoided during the operation. g) Before plucking the transplants, mark the north orientation on the coral. Transplanted coral should be aligned with the original northing orientation before it was transplanted. Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

h) Coral transplants should be selected from the coral reef that is healthy, i.e. more that 80% of the surface is in good condition, not broken or of poor health. i) During the transfer process, coral transplants should not be raised more than 2 meters from the original depth where the transplants collected. Avoid sudden changes in depth during the transfer process. j) Coral transplants should be placed on a substrate of dead corals, or platform, preferably half a meter away from the sea floor. Coral transplants should not be placed on living coral as a base for the transplants. k) Distance between each clump coral transplants should be more than 0.5 meter for branching corals and a distance of 2 meters for boulder coral.

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Attachment 2

Picture B. Pulau Perhentians Artificial Reef (AR) made from PVC pipes. Picture taken in place, year July 2005. The AR was being deployed in the year 2003

Picture A. Pulau Perhentians Artificial Reef (AR) made from PVC pipes. Picture taken in place, July 2005 The AR was being deployed in the year 2003.

Picture C. Pulau Redang Artificial Reef (AR) made from PVC pipes. Picture taken in place, year ***. The AR was being deployed in the year 1995.

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Attachment 3

Clearing of rehabilitation site from marine debris and installing the wire mesh as a base to anchor the transplant

Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Loading and transferring the coral transplants to rehabilitation plot 9 Coral Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Attachment 4 Moving the coral transplants to the rehabilitation plots

10

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.

Transplants were tied to the wire mesh to maintian the upright position

Attachment 5

Monitoring of transplants to ensure its upright position

11

Coral Reef Restoration In Marine Protected Area, Malaysia, Ab Rahim Bin Gor Yaman, 2013.