KEMAMAN – The Fisheries Department has been allocated RM500,000 for the construction of 104 artificial reefs in the country’s waters this year.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the cuboid artificial reefs would help to increase the fish population, conserve fishery resources and marine habitat.
“We have identified five locations for the artificial reefs namely Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Kemaman, Merchang and Marang in Terengganu and Tanjung Gemok, Rompin in Pahang.
“The artificial reefs will reduce intrusion of coastal areas by trawler fishing boats,” he told reporters after the lowering of cuboids to symbolise the launch of artificial reefs, here today.
The government had allocated RM50 million for the construction of 160 artificial reefs since 2006 under the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) and 10MP (2011-2015).
Ahmad Shabery said the result could only be seen two or three years after the artificial reefs were constructed.
Malaysia was the first country in South-east Asia to construct artificial reefs in 1975, by using worn out vehicle tyres.
The construction of artificial reefs adopted the standards and guidelines of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). – BERNAMA