Dear members and friends,
We invite you for an interesting talk entitled “What If There Is No Marine Conservation In Place” ?
Speaker: Dr. Achier Chung Fung Chen
Date: Wednesday 22 May 2019
Time: 7.30-9.30 PM ( Please be on time)
Venue : Islamic Information Centre (Lower Baruk)
Jalan Ong Tiang Swee (behind Swinburne University)
Entrance: Free of charge but donations are always welcome.
Please register by email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your seat.
What if there is no marine conservation in place?
Case study: Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), Sabah Malaysia
Nearly 85% of the populations along the coast of Sabah depended for the sea for daily living. Despite these, over-harvesting of sea products continues to occur, from traditional fishing to illegal fishing practices that eliminating coral reef habitat.
With an increase of fishing activities and no control of the fishing methods, Sabah will lose it marine resources in the long run, by failing to maintain coral reef system that important nursery ground for marine fishes, and unsustainable fishing down to the aquatic food web. Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA) established in 2001 for the biodiversity conservation and recreational purposes.
SIMCA is the first privately managed marine conservation area in Malaysia. Reef Guardian is the manager of SIMCA with long term goal to conserve coral reef ecosystem and minimize anthropogenic threats to SIMCA. Reef Guardian implementing five main programmes, which are 1) Marine conservation, 2) Enforcement, 3) Environmental control, 4) education and awareness and, 5) Ecotourism. Reef Guardian increase enforcement presence in SIMCA since 2005 through a partnership with Conservation International Philippines and the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have allowed restoration of marine fishes especially the commercial species such as groupers, snappers, sweetlips, and sharks.
Coral reefs are in recovering stages and allowed recruitment of critically endangered sea turtles such as Hawksbill turtle in the reefs. However illegal fishing continues to exist in the marine reserve especially at night time when nighttime enforcement is limited. Destructive fishing practices are carried out destroying coral reef habitats, and bottom gillnet fishing placed along reef edge overnight harvesting threatens species such as sharks, rays and often drowning adult and juvenile sea turtles, and fish trawlers are trawling at the hot-spot areas that often trapped and downing sea turtles. Beside human-induced stress, the reef suffers from an increase of sea surface temperature that results in corals bleaching since 2014. Furthermore, with increases of coastal development that result in river and nutrient runoff, there have been recorded of the frequent outbreak of Crown-of-thorn starfish that predated on live corals.
Achier Chung is a Lead Marine Biologist/Advisor for Reef Guardian Sdn Bhd that managing the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), at Sandakan Sabah. Member of the national-level IUCN Expert Assessment Group for Green List (EAGL) for Malaysia. She has recently received an award as the first Malaysia SeaKeeper from the International SeaKeepers Society for her passionate in marine conservation, and environmental education works in SIMCA.
Achier stationary on Lankayan Island for more than a decade manages and run marine conservation programme with a team of 10 to 15 people. She earned her doctorate in the year 2015 in marine science/fisheries. Her expertise is in managing marine protected area, sea turtle biology, reef fish behaviour, coral trout spawning aggregation and Marine Protected Area enforcement.
In the past 15 years, Achier logged over 2000 hours dives for research, exploration, and documentation of marine creatures around Lankayan Island, and islands around Sabah.