BESUT: Nine diving spots which were closed in June last year due to coral bleaching, are expected to be re-opened soon.
Marine Parks Department director-general Dr Sukarno Wagiman said the sites, which were popular with tourists, were closed because the coral reefs were badly affected by the change in sea temperature.
“However, the situation has improved. We are only waiting for an official announcement by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry,” he said.
He added that the diving spots included the islands of Perhentian, Redang and Tenggol off Terengganu, and other islands in Pahang and Kedah.
“We are also considering suggestions to close the dive sites at certain times to preserve the coral reefs. The cooperation shown by all parties involved during the closure has been tremendous,” he said.
On another matter, Dr Sukarno said interesting artefacts would also be placed at marine parks across the country as an added tourist attraction.
He said the department had already placed three automated teller machines (ATMs), which were no longer in use because they were outdated, in Pulau Perhentian and was in talks to place a replica of a Formula 1 car which had once been exhibited at the Petrosains Gallery in KLCC.
“We encourage other parties to contribute any interesting object or artefact to be placed at the marine parks,” he told reporters after the placement of an ATM replica in Perhentian Island here yesterday.
“For example, we would welcome it if the Armed Forces wanted to put an unused tank,” he added.http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/4/10/nation/8453517&sec=nation