300 divers clean up sea bed around Sepanggar Navy base

KOTA KINABALU: About 5,000 sea urchins were picked up from the sea bed surrounding the Sepanggar Navy base here during a Mega Dive programme this morning.

Organised by the navy’s eastern fleet command, the programme is aimed at creating a healthy marine ecosystem and clean underwater environment.

The event saw 300 participants from Kampung Gentisan, Kota Kinabalu City Hall, University Malaysia Sabah, the Sabah Environment Protection Department, the Marine Department, and the navy working together to clean the area of debris and sea urchins.

Navy eastern logistics commander First Admiral Ow Kiat Bin said there had been too many sea urchins on the sea bed, and their presence could have destroyed the coral reef in the area.

“The collected sea urchins were handed over to fishermen from Kampung Gentisan for consumption. This will further strengthen the relationship between the navy and the local community,” he said.

Ow added that the involvement of villagers in the clean-up programme was in line with the navy’s efforts to enhance awareness among the fishing community of the importance of keeping their water village clean.

He said navy divers had also placed three artificial reefs in waters near the navy’s Yacht Excellent Centre to create a thriving marine habitat.

Source: New Straits Times