Hospitality Brand Joins Efforts With Marine Conservation Activists On Underwater Restoration And Awareness Endeavors For Tioman Island
TIOMAN, OCTOBER 2015 – Berjaya Tioman Resort, a resort situated in Tioman Island managed by hospitality group Berjaya Hotels & Resorts has teamed up with Singapore based marine conservation activists Scuba People and Shark Savers Organization, to execute the 2015 Tioman Island Clean-up Day (TICD) weekend project which was held on 23 – 25 October, with the aim of decreasing the decline of coral reefs and restoring the local ecosystem in the surrounding waters of the resort area.
The resort’s annual beach and dive clean-up exercise which was inaugurated in 2010 has since developed to be so much more than just a project on the side to upkeep the beach area and coral reefs surrounding the resort. It has in fact become a full-fledged campaign which empowers people to do their part to maintain the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem via continuous conservation efforts and awareness programmes.
This year, the TICD was planned as an extension to the ‘Sea Shelter’ programme launched by Berjaya Corporation earlier in August to enhance marine life in Tioman. This designated 6-acre conservation site is located right in front of Renggis Island facing Berjaya Tioman Resort, just a 2 minute boat-ride away.
The 3-day event saw the resort working with over 100 divers spread out in groups across 5 diving sessions to implement several important maintenance tasks for the reef restoration site and the man-made marine breeding grounds. The major works completed successfully include the cutting of cable-ties previously used to secure broken corals onto the implanted structures to allow them to recover and regenerate naturally, the reinforcing of the Fish Attractant Devices (FADs) so that these breeding habitats can withstand the strong currents of the upcoming monsoon season, as well as the installing of new artificial structures and mesh net for coral planting.
“All the tasks we have carried out are designed to restore the existing coral reefs, and to encourage new coral to settle and grow. The structures will also attract other organisms as well as a large number of fish. The project currently consists of 10 concrete structures and 3 fish domes which will allow the damaged natural reef time to recover and regenerate. The team at Berjaya Tioman Resort will then continue to monitor the reef restoration sites,” enthused Michael Tan, the General Manager of the resort.
In addition to undertaking this initiative, TICD’s emphasis included bringing the local community together to learn about marine conservation. Together with the Shark Savers’ organisation, the team also implement an awareness programme for 30 local school children to educate them about the importance of sharks in the marine ecosystem through interactive and fun-filled learning activities. The children then participated in group dynamic activities and pledged to stop the poaching of sharks by imprinting on the 12-metre whale shark structure which was built using natural materials in the resort.
“We take pride in our commitment to the environment. Tioman island’s waters are rich with diverse marine life and is home to a world-class dive site. Tourism is a key contributor to the economy and our resort’s TICD project will ensure that the spectacular coral reefs the region has become known for will remain for years to come,” concluded Michael as he reaffirmed his dedication to conserving the marine life surrounding the resort.