LABUAN, (Nov 24) — The vessel sinking project for a newly-formed scuba diving site will be carried out in the waters of Rusukan Besar Island here on Dec 9.
The project is part of efforts to conserve marine biodiversity and attract diving activities in the shipwreck within the waters of marine parks.
The patrol vessel owned by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), namely KM Pemanggil was surrendered to the Department of Marine Park Labuan, to be sunk for breeding of marine life and make it the latest attraction to divers and tourists to the island.
Its director Anuar Deraman said the project was in collaboration with MMEA and Ministry of Tourism and Culture under National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS).
“The vessel will be sunk 0.5 nautical miles from Rusukan Besar Island, one of the three gazetted islands in Labuan,” he told Bernama.
The Department of Marine Park Labuan had received two boats from MMEA in 2012 that were sunk two nautical miles outside of the waters of the marine parks.
He said the sinking of the seized boats as fish haven was to create alternative fishing sites for local fishermen.
Anuar said the sinking of vessels had increased the habitat and marine resources with the presence of various species of fishes after three months of its implementation, based on studies carried out in Tioman Island Marine Park in 2012.
“We can see the growth and existence of new creatures like soft coral reef species on the shipwrecks, and this helps create new marine life ecosystem,” he said.
He, however, said the growth of the marine life ecosystem would be faster in the marine parks in Labuan due to the ocean current factor. — BERNAMA