Today, Thursday 16th June 2011, The Reef Dive Resort at Mataking Island, Borneo began the creation of its 3rd artificial reef project in the area.
Building on the successes of 2 previous shipwreck reefs submerged in 2006 and 2009, this new innovative reef is being constructed in 3 distinct phases.
Phase one which commenced this morning, consists of submerging 10 12ft tall belian wood pyramids, constructed from waste wood from the resort to act as a new shelter for aquatic life in the area.
These wooden pyramids that have taken several weeks to construct by a team of dedicated personnel at the resort will be submerged at strategic points along the borders of the house reef and then adorned with coconut leaf which in the past has proven to be a haven for squid and other smaller fishes which use the shelters to evade larger predators.
Later in the project and over the next few weeks, phase 2 will be commenced which is to consist of 4 dedicated coral table tent nurseries along the western bank of the reef. This scheme has been adopted by a very successful project operated by a Marine Biologist Professor in Egypt where huge achievements have been made in the growth of both hard and soft corals over an extensive area.
The final stage of the project will then consist of a series of concrete reef-balls being submerged around the coral tables which will act as a transplant nursery.
General Manager of the resort, Mr. Luke J Cox said, “This year we are making huge in-roads into both marine conservation and conservation of the island above the waves. This project however is incredibly ambitious as we are adopting a three phase approach to reef construction which has proven to be incredibly popular in other parts of the world”
The Project Manager for this operation was resort Divemaster Yohannes Yosep who added, “Whilst the project means a lot of extra work for our team here, I really do believe that the rewards that we will see in coming months will be huge. As we begin the transplantation onto the coral nursery over the next few weeks, guests will be able to sponsor baby coral as we transplant them onto the reef which will in-turn fund us to carry out further work and research into enhancing our marine life at the resort”