LIONS Clubs International District 308B1 organised a coral preservation project at Pulau Tioman in Rompin, Pahang to protect and save the sea and ecosystems.
The Lions Coral Conservation Programme was jointly organised by Lions clubs of Johor Baru Premier, Kuala Lumpur Elite and Kuala Lumpur Pantai Hill, with the help of dive operator UDive.
The group managed to remove nearly 500kg of marine debris around Pulau Tulai and Pulau Tomok, which are smaller islands off Tioman.
They also repopulated damaged reefs by restoring broken coral to allow the natural inhabitants a chance to grow.
Trained scuba divers transplanted the broken coral to a rack to build artificial reefs.
Baki Zainal from Lions Clubs International District 308B2 (Lions Club of Sunway Damansara), who also participated in the programme, highlighted that a lot of trash had washed up to the beach.
“Bottles, plastic food containers and cigarette butts are some of the major trash found washed up onto the beach.
“It is a conscious decision that we have to make to create a better living environment, ” he said.
Baki, who is a Padi Ambassadiver as well as a GoPro Ambassador, is also recognised as the Ambassador of Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) since 2018 to advocate marine and environment-related issues.
During the event, Alvin Chelliah from RCM was invited to speak on the importance of and threats to coral reefs.
“Coral reefs are ecologically important and economically valuable to our marine ecosystems.
“They provide food, employment and coastal protection to communities around the world.
“Therefore, we should play our role to protect, restore and revive coral reefs around us, ” he said.
Lions Clubs International District 308B1 immediate past district governor Datuk Javern Lim and his wife Datin Teo Geok Kee also participated in the Coral Conservation Project.
They were very impressed with all the Lions members’ hard work on coral protection.
Lim urged the Lions members to carry out more ocean protection projects in the near future around Malaysia.
Lions Clubs International District 308B1 first vice-district governor Tan Teoh Teik Choon, who participated in the programme, said scuba diving could be an enjoyable, healthy and meaningful sport that could contribute to coral conservation projects like this one.
Meanwhile, GoPro and Ripcurl, which were represented at the event, supported and sponsored UDive’s yearly Project Aware (Aquatic World Awareness and Responsibility) to the tune of RM40,000.
UDive said it was grateful to everyone involved in the movement and would continue to create greater awareness of marine conservation in the near future.