Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sabah to replant coral at Sipadan

KOTA KINABALU: The state government will replant coral at the diving haven of Pulau Sipadan that was damaged in May by a barge ferrying building materials for a clubhouse and sewerage project.

A replanting technique developed by state-owned Koperasi Nelayan (Ko-Nelayan) will be used in the rehabilitation of the damaged section of the coral reef, state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Rahim Ismail said.

Ko-Nelayan, with the assistance of Yayasan Sabah, plans to similarly replant corals in Pulau Gaya here and also Kalumpang in Tawau.

Rahim said the replanting of corals was not costly because the seedlings were produced locally.

The state government halted the project on Sipadan island following the incident in which part of the coral reef (the area of two tennis courts) was damaged.

The contractor has since apologised and has been ordered to clean up the construction materials that fell into the sea.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had expressed anger over the Sipadan project. Environmental groups are pushing for the project to be scrapped.

Source: The Star

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