Asia Dive News : Malaysian
state bans fins to protect coral
KUALA TERENGGANU: Forget about using flippers when swimming or snorkelling at beach resorts here.
State authorities have banned the use of flippers in a bid to protect corals especially in the coastal waters off Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the state exco decided on the ban, which applies in coastal waters off all islands in the state.
However, it would not cover divers, he said.
“People who use flippers sometimes trample on the corals,” Idris told newsmen after chairing the exco meeting at Wisma Darul Iman here yesterday.
“This is especially true for those learning how to swim and staying afloat.”
Speaking from personal experience, Idris said he faced difficulties in balancing in the water when he first took up the activity two years ago.
He hoped resort operators would abide by the directive, which would be issued in about a week.
“I know some of them earn money by renting out flippers to tourists, but we have to protect the corals,” he said.
Idris said the state government had not decided on the action to be taken against those who flout the ruling.
Malaysia Nature Society Parks and Special projects head Andrew Sebastian said it was a good move.
However, he hoped there would be stricter enforcement on regulations in marine parks against the gathering of corals and shells.
“Although this is banned, tourists are still doing it,” he said.
Source: The Star