KUDAT: Two marine parks in the state, namely Darvel Bay in Lahad Datu and Mantanani Reef Marine Park in Kota Belud, are now in the process of being gazetted to safeguard marine biodiversity in the areas.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said, at present, there are six marine parks managed by Sabah Parks or TTS, an agency under the ministry.
They are the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Pulai Tiga Park, Pulau Sipadan Park, the Turtle Islands, Tun Sakaran Marine Park, and Tun Mustapha Park.
“The ministry is committed to safeguarding the marine biodiversity especially in preserving the coral reef habitat ecosystem, focusing on food security and sustainable livelihoods, as well as developing the eco-tourism in Sabah islands and waters.”
He said in his speech when launching the ‘Si Buding’ ship in conjunction with his visit to the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP), today.
In the meantime, Jafry said efforts to protect coral reefs such as in TMP should be implemented in a holistic manner with the cooperation of all parties.
He said TMP, measuring 898, 762.76 hectares, is not only the largest multi-purpose marine park in the country but also a part of endangered shark sanctuaries.
Earlier, Jafry launched the ship named ‘Si Buding’ after a local nickname for Whale Shark or its scientific name ‘Rhincodon Typus’, known for its tame nature, slow-moving and can be found in Sabah waters.
He said the Si Buding ship serves as a mobile office for Sabah Parks for patrolling purposes and also to transport and deliver food aid in the community area.