Artificial Reef Farm Project
IIn July 2006, as part of our conservation programs, The Reef Dive Resort, Pro Diver, JCI Tawau, JCI Taiwan and JCI Hong Kong have sponsored the deployment of an artificial reef at North end of the house reef. The artificial reef is made up in boxes from a mangrove type of wood. These boxes are tied together in place at depth of 20m and stacked on top of each other forming a tall tower. The “Friendship” artificial reef is 44 feet long and 24 feet high comprising of 40 box like structure.
This structure will attract schools of different variety of fish so they can hide from larger predators. This is very noticeable at our jetty where schools of fish congregate day and night. Similar artificial reefs have proved to be very successful.
Coral Reef Farm Project
A coral reef conservation and rehabilitation project has been established at Mataking Reef Dive Resort together with Inno Fisheries Sdn.Bhd. This innovative pilot scheme that associates a dive resort and a mariculture company is a first in the southeast, off shore island regions of Semporna, Sabah.
Mr Don Baker, a marine scientist working as a mariculturists consultant for Inno Fisheries Sdn.Bhd., who instigated the project with the Yayasan Sabah group company Innoprise Corporation Sdn. Bhd., explained that small 2 to 3 cm fragments and cuttings from wild stocks of live hard coral ‘mother colonies’ are glued on small concrete plug bases and then arranged in wire cages called “coral culture tables [CCT].
These tables are positioned in 5 meters of unpolluted sea on a sandy bottom in front of the resort. When these corals grow in a protected and controlled environment they will be split or fragmented and replanted on other tables as second generation ‘seedlings.’
As a sustainable and ecologically viable mariculture endeavor, which will operate on a long term basis, the cultivated corals will be used to restock some of the reefs around Mataking that have been heavily damaged from bomb blast fishing in the past.
To subsidise the project it is planned to use a portion of the better quality corals for the export market and sale to international marine aquarium enthusiasts. This will hopefully help to curb the legal and illegal collection of wild corals taken directly from the reefs of Indonesia, Tonga, Fiji, and the Philippines.