Malaysia is known as a paradise reminiscent place that crawls with environmental diversity. Among this diversity lies many coral reef locations. Last weekend over 80 divers showed support for their oceanic habitat by performing a coral reef cleaning dive off of the coast of a national park called Talang Satang Island. The event was organized by Sarawak Forestry Corporation. They have also been managing the national park since 1999. This two day diving event really spread coral reef conservation awareness to the community. Fishing nets and other trash and debris were removed and cleaned off of the nearby reefs. The island is also known for being a research site for sea turtles and over the last 40 years over three million hatchlings have been released from this location. Careless fisherman and beachcombers are one of the largest causes of pollution and decaying coral reefs. So it’s nice to see Malaysian citizens showing support for their reefs! Read the full article at www.theborneopost.com.

 

The lowering levels of large predators effect reef conservation efforts.

Most of us think of sharks as villainous and frightening creatures but it turns out sharks and other large predators like them play a role in coral reef conservation. The decline of larger predators has disrupted the food chain. It seems the endangerment of these predators is caused mostly by human interference and illegal hunting and fishing practices. This loss creates what is ecologically established as a “trophic cascade.” This stands for a group of effects that trickles down to the lower levels of the food chain. After observing two different reef areas, one with a shark population and one without, scientists found that the reefs in the first habitat with sharks were much healthier than the reefs in the area with no sharks. The second area’s reefs were covered and being suffocated by algae. The absence of larger predator species is not just in ocean habitats either. It is shaking the entire ecosystem. The scale of the top-down issue is proving to be devastating towards conservation efforts as a whole.