KOTA KINABALU: The state government is in the process of gazetting Mantanani, Mengalum and Sipadan islands as total protected marine areas.
State Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said the initiative was in line with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recommendation to have at least 10 per cent of protected marine areas by 2020.
“It is difficult to have three marine areas to be gazetted by 2020 as the process will be long.
“However, the state government has already prepared the documents (for the gazettement of those waters),” he said, adding that the gazetting of Mantanani waters would be tabled in the next cabinet meeting.
Pang said the process for Mengalum would be discussed next year and status of Sipadan, renowned as one of the world’s top dive sites, to be discussed in 2019.
Once the three sites are gazetted, marine areas will make up 13 per cent of Sabah, exceeding the IUCN recommendation.
Sabah now has more than one million hectares, or 7.6 per cent, listed as total protected areas.
The Tun Mustapha Park off Kudat waters, Malaysia’s largest marine park, was the most recent gazetted area.
Pang added that his ministry was also encouraging hoteliers and seafood restaurants to sell sustainable seafood to their clients.
He said they could buy from suppliers who adopted good practices, such as fish farming and fishing using the right nettings, among others.
Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: 3 Sabah islands to be gazetted as marine areas.